If you’re anything like me, working on your novel or short story is always at the bottom of the to-do list. There are always more pressing work matters or other jobs to do first. But what if you could find more time to fit your writing in, guilt-free?
With 24 hours in each day, most people can find somewhere in those 24 hours to sneak a few minutes for writing, maybe even an hour. And, even if you can only spare 15 minutes, that’s nearly 100 hours each year.
So, here are four ways to make time for writing appear out of nowhere.
1. Consider your priorities
You probably have loads of commitments, some more fun than others. Do you have any commitments that you don’t enjoy and don’t strictly need? Get rid if so!
If not, never mind. List your commitments in priority order and re-evaluate whether your writing time should be at the bottom.
For example, are you spending two hours watching Netflix twice a week? What if those two-hour slots became one-hour slots and you dedicated the other hour to writing?
2. Set your alarm a smidgen earlier
While I’m not a fan of the often-given ‘get up really early and extend your working day’ advice, you might not notice the early start so much if you set your alarm 15–30 minutes earlier.
If you can squeeze half an hour of writing time in before work five days a week, you could free up 130 hours for writing time each year.
This time might also double up as quiet time for you, before your children, colleagues, or clients need something from you.
3. Steal five-minute windows
We’re always losing five minutes here and there. Five minutes while you’re preparing a tea round for the office. Five minutes while waiting in the car for your children to come out of after-school club. Five minutes while you’re reheating your lunch.
Lots of people spend these five minutes scrolling through social media. But those few minutes can make all the difference to your writing time. Use your few spare minutes to write enough, and those words will add up.
And, if you need longer than five minutes to get into the writing zone, use those minutes to brainstorm new plots, scenes, or characters.
4. Use your travel time wisely
Lots of people endure long commutes, and these commutes can provide the perfect opportunity for writing or preparing for writing.
While train commuters can take a notebook and write away, drivers can binge writing podcasts (and there are many, many podcasts to choose from).
And when you’ve finished drafting your work, find out how editing services can help you polish your manuscript.
Charlotte is an award-winning writer and line/copyeditor who writes and edits for clients all over the world. She also works on the fiction team for Ambit, a UK literary and arts magazine.
She holds an international literary prize from Hammond House Publishing Group, two writing-related degrees, various marketing certifications, and training certificates from the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading, of which she is a Professional Member.
Charlotte’s work has appeared in several anthologies, magazines, and literary journals, including Indigomania, Dream Catcher, and The Curlew.
She has also created a series of free self-editing cheat sheets to help new writers hone their fiction before sending their work off to a professional editor.
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