Read any “How to Write” books, watch any author talk about how they did it, and they’ll tell you: They protected their writing time.
This is the advice I have heard a thousand times and it’s the advice I’ve given out multiple times (even when I sometimes fail to follow it). Want to know why?
Today’s tip works for writing fiction, short stories, non-fiction, poetry, and especially blogging! If you are a writer of any kind, you must be intentional with your writing time. If you are waiting for your schedule to open up or for inspiration to hit, you’ll end up like me and a thousand other writers who find that months fly before you sit down to write again.
Of course, it’s super easy for me to tell you, “Just be intentional with your time.” (I think I can hear some of you rolling your eyes at me. I might have even rolled my eyes a bit.)
No matter how great and how TRUE this advice is, it’s just not that simple! Between jobs and life, family and friends, scheduling writing time is nearly impossible for the average writer who must support themselves and their families with a full time job.
Part of learning how to schedule your time is learning how to take advantage of the time we are given. Currently, all around the world, literally in almost every country, people are facing an extended period of free time. Writers are being forced away from their livelihoods in what has become both a blessing and a curse. While I cannot and do not want to minimize what people are going through, I want to encourage writers everywhere to spend their new “free time” pursuing their craft instead of losing another eight hours on the couch binge-watching the latest Hulu original.
Starting today, we must make a choice on how we intend to spend our “free time.” Take a hard and honest look at your daily life. Is there an hour (or more) that you spend watching tv that could be dedicated to writing? Even if you do not feel inspired, you should sit down at your computer and write. Dedicate that hour to writing something, it doesn’t even have to be good!
And yet, even with this new free time, there are numerous people who are just as busy as ever. With that in mind, let me ask you this: Can you add an extra 30 minutes to your busy day? Depending on whether you are a morning bird or a night owl, can you extend your day by 30 minutes by getting up early or going to bed late? Even if you do not feel inspired, you should sit down at your computer and write. Dedicate those 30 minutes to writing something, even if its only a few words.
Whether its 30 minutes, an hour, or longer, by holding to this schedule, you are setting a routine for yourself so that when inspiration does strike, you will be ready!
As for me, I plan on setting aside at least an hour every morning to write on a new book (more to come about this in a coming post).
When do you plan to schedule your writing time? Let me know in the comments!
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