One of the biggest struggles I’ve had as an author is finding a time and a place to write. That’s partially why my book, Welcome to The End of the World, has taken nearly five years to complete. Something I’ve recently done is revise my schedule to maximize my free time to write, and these tips have allowed me to find more time to write every week. Everyone writes differently, but these tips can help almost anyone maximize their time for writing.
Minimize screen time and use that time to focus on writing
One way to find more time to write is to minimize how much screen time you have. If you find yourself on the phone a lot during the day, try dedicating that time to writing instead.
Plan out your daily writing in advance
One of the most effective tips that writers often give on finding time to write is to make it a priority. If you have your gym appointment, doctor appointment, and your anniversary in your calendar, why not put in your writing time also?
Additionally, find out when it works best to write for you. If you’re not a morning person but prefer to write in the evening, that’s fine also. I am not an early morning person and it’s difficult for me to write in the morning, so I prefer to carve out my writing time in the evenings.
Don’t say “I’ll just write tomorrow”
One of the biggest mistakes I’ve made with my writing doesn’t actually involve writing at all, but involves planning out my writing time. It’s easy to say “I’ll write tomorrow” - and then continue on that trend daily. Even if you only write a hundred words, do that. Writing for even ten minutes a day can allow you to make great progress in your writing goals.
Start by writing for just ten minutes
One of the most difficult parts of any writing tasks is simply starting. Set a daily goal to write just ten minutes - scheduled anywhere in your day. Schedule it on a lunch break, on public transit, before you go to bed. You can always write for longer periods of time.
Set a daily and consistent goal
Many famous authors have one thing in common - they set and meet writing goals. Half of the battle of being a professional writer is simply writing the words on the page. It’s important to try new things with book. Try new things. Get dirty. Take chances. Make mistakes. Whatever you do, make sure you’re working to get those words on a page.
Write without internet access
While it’s true that the internet is an amazing tool, it’s also a great distractor. Many people find writing without internet access a great way to stay focused and maximize your writing potential.
If you can’t go totally without internet, consider a tool that will allow you to block out the websites you get most distracted by. If you use Google Chrome to do your writing, there are some add-on tools that will do this for you, such as Block Site.
Use a dictation tool
If you’re finding putting words on paper distracting but you’re comfortable with speaking out the words via voice, consider using a dictation tool. The one I’ve had the most luck with being reliable is Dragon Naturally Speaking, but it can be fairly costly, so that’s something to consider when you’re looking at dictation programs.
If you’re looking for a free program, Google Voice Transcribe also works decently well, though it needs more edits. A quick Google search will reveal many different options available for this.
Find A Place To Write
Finding a place to write can be difficult, but the good thing is that you can write anywhere. It can be on a plane, train, bus, or other location. While I enjoy writing at my desk, I also enjoy writing whenever I’m able to. Often it’s easy to write a little bit when you’re waiting in line.
It’s important to have a calm place to write. Whether you set up a single room, a corner of your bedroom, or a desk in the living room, having a direct place to write that will signal your brain it’s time to start writing is very important. Whatever area you use to store your writing desk, make sure it’s comfortable and clean. I try and minimize every writing distraction in my writing area.
In addition to making sure that your writing area is clean and orderly, it’s also important to make sure your writing desk looks great and feels functional, but you don’t want too many items at your writing desk. The ideal setup is almost minimalist: You’ll want a writing notebook for ideas, a few pens, and your writing device of choice - tablet, laptop, phone or keyboard. If I have multiple distractions, I’m less likely to write, which is why having a minimalist space is so important.
Though it often feels insurmountable to find a place and time to write, much of it comes down to dedication. Sometimes, you might have to look at your schedule and minimize your activities in order to find time to write. Other times, you might be able to find time to write just ten minutes per day to write. Whatever your goal is, just start writing and putting words on a page - any word is better than none.