It’s a question that plagues many beginning writers. “When should I write?” Unfortunately there is no one way to answer, just as there is no one way to write. But you can examine your process so that your time with the page is most effective.
Assess your Day
To move writing forward, you need time to write. What if you feel you have no time? Write out every activity you have to do in a day. Do you have to get your family ready for school?Do you have a full class schedule yourself? What are your daily tasks? How long is your daily commute? How long do you sleep? How long do you eat? Don’t forget your time wasters either how long do you spend on Facebook, TMZ, the Drudge Report? How long do you watch TV at night? Your job is to find free time. What activity can you replace with writing?
Finding free time often means a sacrifice No TV and no Facebook. How does that make you feel? Excited or irritated? If it’s a chore to find writing time or it makes you resentful, perhaps you don’t want to write.
Change = Time
There is time to write in every day. It isn’t pretty but it is doable. You have to change the status quo. Get up half an hour earlier. Go to bed half an hour later. Write during your lunch hour. Change your method of transportation – can you take the bus to work instead of drive? Change your tools – if you can’t find time to sit down and write, get a recording ap for your phone and talk into it every spare second. You can easily find someone to transcribe your work on sites like odesk.com.
It takes practice to write on the fly. Don’t give up after a couple of sessions, try it for at least a month. It’s not as idyllic as spending a leisurely afternoon with pen and paper, but it gets words on the page.
Your day is done and you haven’t written a word. That needs to be addressed. If writing in your spare moments doesn’t work, schedule it. Put writing time on your calendar. Think of writing like a doctor’s appointment or yoga class or Jimmy’s hockey practice. You wouldn’t bail on these activities because they’re important. Make writing just as important.
You may need to train your family to value writing time as much as going to the doctor. Again, don’t give up after one session. It takes time to set a pattern.
What if I get writer’s block during my scheduled time? Once you set up your writing time, keep that appointment. If your brain doesn’t want to write, use the time to improve your skills; warm ups, read something that inspires you, write in a journal.
Do Your Thing
Never choose a time to write because another writer crows about their productivity at X o’clock.
“I write from nine to five! I write at one in the morning!”
First of all, you don’t know if they’re telling the truth, maybe they’re just showing off. Secondly, writing is an individual task. The best time to write will always depend on the individual writer. If everyone talks about how great it is to get up earlier to write and you’re not an early riser, don’t do it. Find another time in your day. There is no formula to follow to writing success.
Do whatever it takes to finish your work.
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