Finding Time to Write

It’s the last week of January, and resolutions are meeting reality. All those lovely, grand plans we started the year with are starting to look a lot harder to achieve. Yeah, my resolution was to write more often. I know, I’m not the only writer out there who finds it hard to find time to write – it’s a battle for all of us, I think.

Too often, writing is not my priority. Back in high school and junior high, writing was my priority – so much so that I’d ignore whatever was going on in class and write novels instead (don’t worry, I still passed). Now reality has set in, and I get to hand over cheques for several thousands of dollars for every year of my university education, and suddenly, school is a priority. Not to mention, it’ll make a bit of a difference to my future whether I pass university or not. So – school first. And when I procrastinate on school, I end up procrastinating on writing as well.

Also, my brain gets tired. Too much stimulation – definitions to know, people to talk to, things that need to be done. There’s a HUGE temptation, when I finally get a chance to relax, to do a zombie-like and non-productive activity, like watching TV. And I write too many notes and papers for school. Writing for “fun” suddenly doesn’t sound like so much fun anymore.

BUT, I love writing and want to get experience. One strategy I use is to carry a notebook with me (yeah, not a laptop, I’m a poor student) and write while I wait for something: the bus to come, class to start, etc. If I get a sudden flash of inspiration too, I can scrawl it down and not forget it.

The other strategy is to just sit down and write, without letting the act of writing scare me too much. This blog is helpful that way – it needs an update semi-regularly.

Currently, though, I’ve been posting three times a week, and I don’t think that pace is sustainable for the rest of the semester. I’m actually surprised I ever got out three blog posts a week at all! So I think I’ll go down to two a week for now.

Are there any other tips and tricks out there for finding time to write?

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8 Comments

Filed under On Writing, Randoms & My Life

8 responses to “Finding Time to Write

  1. It would be so much easier if we were thrown into solitary confinement for bad behavior once a day. Shame, shame.

    Enjoyed your thoughts,
    D

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  2. I write a diary on the train by iPhone because it takes two hours to commute.
    My iPhone has an English dictionary. So I also can study English.

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  3. Don’t worry, harmamae, you will eventually find time to write. It sounds like you are determined, just that you have come up against something that has to be done now or not at all, i.e., university classes and courses. Rightly so, that is a priority. But there comes a time in every writer’s life when they just HAVE to write.

    A few years back, I found I was in a similar situation, no time or enough peace to write. So I started getting up at 5am, writing to 7, then taking my shower and getting ready for work. This ploy worked very well. I write best in the morning anyhow, and this was taking advantage of a very peaceful and productive time. I wrote two novels that way.

    When my children were babies, I tried to write, but there were too many interruptions for me. I need a stretch of time and am not disciplined enough to snatch a few minutes here and there to write. However, the children inevitably grew older and went to school. I then organized my day to do writing in the morning and housework in the afternoon. That worked too.

    Have faith that your time will come, and enjoy your university while you have it. (And thanks for dropping by my blog. It’s always helpful when writers compare notes.)

    Sandra
    Wizards and Ogres and Elves…oh my!

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  4. mybluescreen

    Sigh. This is the Writer’s Lament. I read somewhere — I wanna say Richard Curtis’s excellent “Beyond the Bestseller” — that many writers are writing the books they need to write for their bread and butter so that they can earn time later on to write the books they really want to write. Retirement for writers is getting to write “the big stuff” they’ve been dreaming about for a long time.

    I have to say though, after having my daughter two years ago, it seems as though the only way to find time to write is incrementally, in snatches of minutes, not blocks of hours. I wish I knew this when I was only busy with school and work. Looking back, I see all kinds of time I wasted.

    That said, I think it’s a good sign that you’re worrying about this…it shows where your passions lay. Just remember that each story is told a word at a time. If you can manage three posts a week and university, then you’re going to be fine. Just write a word a day. You’ll find that you can’t and will always end up with more than that. Always a good thing. 🙂

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    • Yes, I’m definitely realizing it’s a lot of little steps… not wasting time and taking advantage of the little bits of time you have. Because there’s no guarantee you’ll ever get that really long block of time you’re longing for!
      I think that’s true, what you say. A lot of writers write things to pay the bills, and are not necessarily writing what they’re really passionate about. Sigh. That’s life, I guess.

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