Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Writing Day! Making Time

Q: How do you "find time" to write?
A: You don't - you MAKE time to write!

I'm often asked this. Making time takes practice, commitment, and creativity. Everything else is just excuses!

  • I write a paragraph or a page in the fifteen or twenty minutes between clients I see at my massage office. 
  • I write on Sundays and Mondays at cafes.
  • I write on long lunch breaks.
  • On days that I finish work between 4 & 6 pm, I walk over to the coffee shop and write for an hour or two, instead of sitting in rush hour traffic.
  • I write notes on my phone - using EVERNOTE, check it out - whenever an idea strikes.
  • Other people may set their alarms get up thirty minutes early to write, or write while sitting in their cars. waiting for their kids after school.
    Got a busy home? Perhaps the kitchen table after everyone has gone to sleep (or before they get up). Maybe you can lock yourself in the bathroom for half an hour with your notebook or laptop.
    Make it regular, make it a ritual, make it happen!
I had a light work day today, a Tuesday. I used my Sunday for sleeping and my Monday for cleaning, this week, so here I am at Starbucks, now, writing. 

And what did I write today? Did I work on my novel? Or my other novel? Or a short story? A travel piece? An essay? Any of the aforementioned projects I have on various burners?


I wrote an article on Summer Health & Safety. I researched and wrote about sunscreen, drowning, pets in hot cars, and what Summer Solstice means.

Did I submit it for publication? No...it went into my monthly massage newsletter.


My customers and colleagues read it (one-fourth to one-half my mailing list - send me your email to be added), and talk about it. It's good for my community connection, and I have considered compiling the articles for small publication, so we'll see where that leads.

Okay, here is how today's timeline went, after appointments:
  • 2:00 Began online research for article
  • 2:45 Called Sprint to deal with phone and billing issues
  • 3:50 Called City to report stolen Recycling Bin & a dumped couch and dresser by park
  • 4:00 Ordered coffee at Starbucks
  • 4:05 - 6:45 Continued reading and writing for article, put together and sent out newsletter
  • 6:50 - 7:20 Wrote this blog
These things needed doing, but at the same time, I missed the creative writing window... But, despite my small disappointment in not getting to some of my projects, I feel accomplished at what I did write.

If you want to be a writer, you have to write.

  • Journal every day. This sorts out your brain, and separates the wheat from the chaff.
  • Take notes, collect inspirational stories, photos, art, ideas, bits of overheard conversation, etc. Keep them in a file folder or in a cross-device app, like Evernote, mentioned above.
  • Carve out what time you can, be it ten minutes or two hours, regularly. At least twice a week.
  • Be persistent!
If only I was able to be more productive at home - but the cats, lighting, lack of a good chair, television, and other distractions make that difficult. Those are my excuses... because, even as others tell me how prolific I am, I feel like an under-performer! I would love to write an hour a day, with two or three days of two to four hour sessions, each, but I do what I can.

How about you?

Are you an aspiring author/writer? Or maybe you want to spend more time painting, or making comics, or learning a foreign language? 
  • How do you make time for writing? Or, how could you do so?
  • Where do you write (or create or learn) best? 
  • Make an appointment with the page. Sit down to write (or paint or whatever) and be open. Write crap. It will cleanse the brain palate and lead to ideas. 
  • Invite your muse to the appointed meeting but start with or without her - muses don't live by human clocks. But if you keep a regular schedule, the muse is more likely to start coming around!
Concentration, focus, comfort, discipline... these are all important factors to writing productivity.

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