Finding Time to Write

7:12 AM

CC Image by Steven Lewis
You really wanted to write that novel. You really committed to it this year, but, as the days slipped by, your wordcount is falling further and further behind. There's just no TIME! Now you're considering giving up. The holidays are creeping in. Maybe next year. 

Bad News: There is never a good time to write a novel. You will always be too busy. Life will always get in the way.
Good News: You can write one anyway.

How do busy people write a book? In Amy Poehler's Yes Please, she says,
“I wrote this book after my kids went to sleep. I wrote this book on subways and on airplanes and in between setups while I shot a television show. I wrote this book from scribbled thoughts I kept in the Notes app on my iPhone and conversations I had with myself in my own head before I went to sleep. I wrote it ugly and in pieces.” 

Writing a novel comes down to consistently committing yourself to a little bit of time whenever you can. You need to prioritize writing. Here are some ways to squeeze a little more writing time out of your week:


  • Get up an hour earlier while everyone else is still asleep. Put on a pot of coffee and snuggle up at the keyboard. 
  • Leave for work 10 mins early. Before you go into the office, write a scene in your notebook.


  • Set a wordcount goal for your lunch / 15min breaks at work. Devote that time to tacking on just a few more words. You won't be anti-social. You can still chitchat with your coworkers. Just limit that time.
  • Put the kids down for a nap and leave the toys on the floor. There are only so many quiet hours in a day. 


  • Ask your partner to handle dinner and the kids just a few nights a week. 
  • Limit the amount of hulu, netflix, tv, or movies you watch. Don't waste your precious creative time watching other people's stories. Put yours first. 


  • Try a 30/30: Set a timer and write for 30 mins straight. When the timer goes off, get up and do anything except writing. Clean the house, play fetch with the pup... but don't write. Timer dings again? Start writing! Forcing time constraints helps define the day, and you won't get to dinner wondering where all your time went. 
  • Bring a mini notebook to your workout. Use the time to brainstorm. Jot down notes as they occur to you now and then write about them later. 

Got any favorite tips for finding a little more time in your day? Share them in the comments!

You Might Also Like