It’s often difficult to work out how to make time for writing when you’re busy in the daily grind. Even though you may think about it constantly, sitting down to actually write is entirely different.
Do you have a dream of writing the next great novel? Or maybe you want to start a blog and earn passive income?
Between working a full-time day job, family, social obligations, and anything else that happens in life, it is easy to feel like there are never enough hours in the day.
But, if you want to succeed as a writer, it’s crucial to have a set writing time, no matter how busy you are.
Yet, as writers, we often make excuses:
“I’m too tired to write.”
“I will start writing one day.”
“Before I start writing, I need to be inspired.”
“I will save money, quit my job, and then be a full-time writer.”
I’ve been guilty of all of these before myself. I get it.
Then, I finally realized something. There is never a perfect time to start anything, including writing.
You just need to step out of your comfort zone and start anyway.
The first step is often the most difficult, and just showing up is 50% of success.
Stephen King famously said, “Aon, the rest of us just get up and go to work.“
Well, I’m here to help you get started with your writing goals, and the first step is to find time to write!
I used to tell myself, “I am a writer who doesn’t write,” when I would be in a self-loathing pity party.
Now, I write 1000+ words most days, whether I feel like it or not.
Of course, sometimes it is a real struggle, but the important thing is finding time to write, even for just 15 minutes or half an hour, or 200 words at a time.
If you don’t get started, weeks, months, years, and even decades may have passed before you know it.
This blog post will discuss different ways to find the time to write, even if you are busy.
Instead of looking back with regret, let’s get started today!
Tips To Make Time For Writing
Here are tips to help you to find time to write:
1. Wake up early to have some quiet time before the day starts
This is a great way to get some writing done before the day gets too busy. Try going to bed and sleep a bit earlier, wake up an hour or two earlier than usual, and use that time to write.
You can either sit down at your computer or grab a notebook and pen and write in a quiet place.
This will allow you to start your day with some peace and quiet, and it will also give you a head start on your work!
You will also have more energy than after being drained once you get home from your day job and can focus your energy on your writing.
2. Create a writing schedule – and stick to it
You’ll most likely be successful with writing if you dedicate specific days or times of the week to do so.
Even if you only have 15 minutes spare, don’t think it isn’t enough. No matter how small any writing sessions are, they will help you progress toward your goals.
Think of how many hours that will add up to over weeks, months, or even a year, compared to not writing.
For example, you could set aside two hours on Saturdays to work on writing a book or blog post.
Or, you could wake up an hour early three days a week to write before work. Dedicating specific times to writing will help you make sure that you’re getting enough writing done each week.
Decide the schedule that best suits you. For example, if you are a night owl, don’t try to write early in the morning, and if you are most productive when you first wake up, don’t wait until later to try to write.
No matter how you do it, make sure to set aside specific days or times to find time to write so that it becomes a habit! Over time, you will find that you just naturally write on these set days and times.
You’ll also start to look forward to writing sessions, which will become a priority.
3. Set a goal for how many words or the amount of time you want to write each day.
Another way to make time to write is to set a goal for how many words you want to write every day or for a week.
This can help motivate you and keep you on track. For example, if you have a word count goal, you’ll be more likely to focus and achieve it.
Even if it is just 250 words per day or 30 minutes, that is 1750 words per week or 3.5 hours more writing than if you don’t make an effort.
Over a year, that is 91,000 words!
That is enough for a draft of that novel you’ve always wanted to write!
Or it could be over 90 x 1000 word articles for your blog!
It is essential to make sure not to set unrealistic goals or deadlines. Otherwise, you will stress yourself out, feel disappointed with yourself, and most likely experience burnout.
A few years ago, I was freelance writing for a very demanding client. On a random schedule with no notice, I would have to write and edit 6000 words for 4-6 articles within 48-72 hours each week.
I forced myself to do it for months but got sick, depressed, and burned out. I no longer enjoyed writing and took a break for many months.
It just isn’t worth pushing yourself to impossible deadlines.
4. Find a comfortable place to write that’s free from distractions
One of the best ways to find time to write is to have a comfortable place to write that’s free from distractions. This could be a corner in your house that you set up as your creative workspace.
If you live with family or have kids, close the door and ask them not to disturb you for an hour. But, if this isn’t possible, there are other options available.
If you’re not able to work from home, you could try writing at a local coffee shop or even the library. There are also co-working spaces where you can work in a focused and creative environment, although they can be expensive.
You could even make it a routine to go to a coffee shop 1 or 2 times per week before or after work or study. Then you could spend an hour or 2 writing while having a coffee.
By having a designated space for writing, you can create a habit that makes it easier to sit down and get started on your project. Once you get used to writing in a comfortable place, you will instantly get into the mood to start writing, and don’t waste any of your limited waste procrastinating.
5. Plan out the next writing session
At the end of your current writing session, plan what you will write next time.
You could either try to outline a few bullet points or have a half-finished sentence.
Doing so makes it easy to jump straight into writing next time and take advantage of all of your available time.
It will help prevent you from staring at a blank screen, trying to get motivated, and wondering where to start, where before you know it, you’ve wasted your free writing time.
6. Set a timer and write for a fixed amount of time
If you have trouble getting started, set a timer for a fixed amount of time and start writing.
Turn off your phone and all distractions such as social media for the duration of the time, Then focus only on writing. Shorter bursts of 25 or 30 minutes tend to work best. But try a few different times to see what suits you most.
Once the timer goes off, you can stop whether or not you feel like you’ve accomplished anything.
But, if you’re having a productive day, set the timer again and keep writing!
This technique is especially beneficial if you only have a few minutes to spare. By setting a timer, you can prevent yourself from procrastinating. Many writers often work best when there are tight deadlines.
7. Write when you’re in the mood, even if it’s not your designated writing time
If you find yourself with a sudden burst of inspiration or motivation, take advantage of it and write even if it’s not your designated writing time.
You never know when a great idea will strike, so it’s always worth having a notebook or your cell phone handy to jot down your thoughts.
8. Decide what writing software to use
Try out a few different writing software options to find the one which works best for you. The important thing is to choose software and then stick to it.
Make sure you are familiar with all the menus, shortcuts, and formatting options so that they don’t interrupt your flow while writing. There are many great YouTube tutorials for most writing software if you’re unsure.
But, don’t procrastinate by spending so much time researching and testing software.
That was a huge mistake that stopped me from making any progress. I used to tell myself that I needed the ‘perfect‘ writing software just to start writing.
Talk about an excuse!
Because of this, I tried almost every writing software available.
Here you can find a comprehensive list of the best writing apps of 2022.
I now personally use the following writing software, with each one having a specific task:
- Google Docs for blogging and client work
- Scrivener for Fiction writing
- Final Draft for Screenwriting
- Grammarly and Hemingway App for Editing
- Apple Notes for Note Taking
The simpler the setup, the more productive I am with writing.
9. Break Your Writing Into Smaller Sections
It can be incredibly daunting to look at a blank screen when you have to write a 2000-word blog post, or you’re starting to write a book. It can also be when self-doubt creeps in, and you feel overwhelmed and like you can’t achieve it.
Instead, break your writing into smaller pieces.
Forget about trying to write the entire 2000-word blog post, and perhaps just set yourself a goal of 500 words.
Writing a book chapter at once is almost impossible, but can you write a scene in one session?
As long as you keep writing, you will make progress and reach your goals. The only way you can fail is if you stop writing.
10. Use Your Phone To Write On The Go
These days, most writing software also has a phone companion app. So while you may not have time to sit down at your laptop or computer to write, you have all the writing tools you need with you in your pocket.
Can you write on your daily commute? What about on your lunch break? Or while standing in line at the grocery store?
Whether you’ve only got 5 minutes or less, you can write on the go. Best of all, the apps sync, so next time you sit down for a writing session, you’ll be ready to continue where you left off.
11. Join a writing group or online forum
If you can’t find a writing partner or accountability partner close to you, another excellent way to find time to write is to join a writing group on social media such as a Facebook group, join a community on Twitter, or an online forum like Reddit.
This will allow you to share your work with other writers and get feedback and advice. It can also be a great way to make friends and find support, especially if no one you know is supportive.
They also often have group virtual writing sessions where everyone sets aside time to write simultaneously, making it more of a social activity instead of a solitary writer trying to motivate yourself to write.
You may find the following blog posts helpful:
- How long does it take to write 1000 words?
- How to write faster: 25 tips to skyrocket your productivity
Final Thoughts – Finding Time To Write
Finding time to write is one of the biggest hurdles that many writers face when getting started. Unfortunately, many never overcome it at all.
Often though, it is a mental hurdle. So before you can start to make real progress, you need to get your mindset right.
The above tips will help you start to make time to write and create balance in your writing life.
It doesn’t matter how long your writing session is or the word count. Don’t compare yourself to other writers. Everyone works at their own pace.
As long as you can find time to create your own schedule and be productive consistently, that is what is most important to creating a writing life.
Remind yourself that you are taking the first steps towards making your writing dreams of a published author or successful blogger come true.
You’re an action taker instead of delaying your goals any further.
FAQs – Make Time For Writing
How many hours a day should a writer write?
There’s no set answer to this question, as every writer is different. However, it’s a good idea to start by committing to writing for a certain number of hours or words each day. This will help you improve your writing habits and produce more content in less time.
How do you manage time in writing?
One of the best ways to find time for writing is to use a timer. This will help you stay focused on your project and avoid getting sidetracked. You can also try setting a daily word count goal to help you stay on track.
What is the best time to write?
There’s no definitive answer to this question, as some people prefer to write in the morning while others find that writing at night works better for them. Try writing at different times and see what suits you. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide what works best for you based on your lifestyle.
What is time to write?
Time to write is the time you set aside every day specifically for writing. This could be an hour in the morning, an hour at night, or even two hours a day. Setting aside this time will make you more likely to stick to your writing schedule.
Skyler Benson is a full-time blogger. Join Skyler on SkylerBenson.com and learn how to start an online business and create a life of freedom. Before starting this blog, Skyler worked online as a freelance content writer. He worked with digital marketing agencies and B2B companies for four years. Skyler reviews the best software for your online business and teaches you how to write better and start your freelancing career.