As a writer, it can be a challenge to make time for your creative writing. Even though having time is essential for getting those pages of fiction or lines of poetry down, working on art can feel like it’s taking time away from other essential responsibilities in your life. Whether you’re working a full-time job, are a student, or have a family you’re raising, constant distractions keep you away from your passion. But you know that, deep down, you want to be a writer. You love creative writing, and it’s something that’s always brought you happiness.
The fact is, having time for your creative writing is all about being flexible, and finding ways around your busy schedule to do it, even if it’s only a few minutes at a time. Here are some of the best ways to do that.
Get Off of Social Media
One of the best ways to give yourself extra time for anything is by getting off of social media. We spend a huge amount of time on our phones, checking Facebook notifications and catching up with our friends and favorite celebrities on social media. When those minutes throughout the day add up, it’s staggering how much time we’ve lost. So however important it is for you to stay connected, the best thing you can do for your writing is getting offline during large chunks of the day.
Put your phone on airplane mode, and when you get home, resist the urge to check your social media profiles. Instead, sit down at a desk, completely disconnected, and write. All of a sudden, you’ll have time you didn’t know you had. It’s no surprise, considering that Instagram has 500 million daily active users, that so many people are constantly distracted by social media!
Carry a Notebook With You at All Times
If you’re doing all of your writing on your laptop or desktop computer, that means that you’re relying on technology to get it done. And even if you type at 90 WPM, you’re going to lose essential moments throughout the day if you’re reliant on technology. For one thing, you can’t always plan for unexpected times when you could be writing. For example, if you’re waiting for a bus or for your kid to get out of play practice, and you don’t have your laptop on you, you’re suddenly losing potential writing time without meaning to.
Instead, carry a notebook with you all the time, and a couple of pens. In addition to making it possible for you to take advantage of these precious, unexpected chunks of time you suddenly have, it also means you can jot down notes even when you aren’t working officially on a piece. If someone says something funny and you want to use it in a story, or you hear a crazy story at a party, you can quickly jot it down and use it later.
Remember: J.K. Rowling, the world’s highest-paid author, started writing Harry Potter on a napkin – so you might pen your masterpiece on a napkin, too.
Schedule Time to Write
Another necessary strategy for anyone taking their writing time seriously is to commit certain times of the day to writing. And even though it’s stressful and exhausting to wake up two hours before work to get in part of a novel chapter, it’s something writers have been doing for a long time. Whether your favorite writer is Ernest Hemingway or J.K. Rowling, you can bet that they have to face the challenge of balancing work with writing. In addition to the families they raised, too! Think about it like you’re running a business: if you’re running a business like Currency, you need to invest time in it.
Even twenty minutes during your lunch break adds up to over an hour of writing a week, which eventually adds up to 520 hours in a full year. Add that to the time you have during vacation, and you suddenly have more time to write than you realized. No doubt that Danielle Steele, whose net worth is $375 million, has dedicated time to write alongside her many celebrity-related activities.
If you aren’t sure where to start, write your goal of how much you want to write in a year, and then divide that up by month and week. It’ll be a struggle at first, but once you get in the habit, making time will get easier.
These are some of the best ways to make time for your creative writing. What other strategies would you recommend to writers?Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.