Archive for May, 2011

Making Time to Write (Part One)

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

Writers write. Right?

Well, yes — but many don’t write as frequently as they could. Too often, we writers get caught up in all the secondary work that accompanies our primary job of writing: doing research, taking notes, organizing our offices, finding new clients, going to conferences, marketing our work, etc., etc., etc.

All of that is so time consuming that, sometimes, it seems like we’re too busy to actually write.

But even during our busiest seasons, it’s still possible to make more time to write. Here are a few tips that have helped me free up more time in my schedule for writing:

* Take the long view instead of the short view. Look at your writing from a long-term perspective rather than just thinking about how you’ll have to fit it into your schedule each day. While each day brings some urgent demands that you must take care of, if you let urgent tasks swallow up all of your time, you won’t be able to focus on more important tasks like writing. Your writing may not be urgent on a short-term basis (unless you have a tight deadline for a project), but when you consider all of the messages you want to communicate to people and why doing so is important to you, you’ll see how important it is to use the time you have to express yourself. Although it may seem morbid at first, think about the fact that you have a limited amount of time to live. What writing do you hope to get done during the time you have? What projects (a novel, a book of memoirs for your family, etc.) have you been putting off that you’re risking not getting to at all by postponing?

* Make regular writing appointments and try your best to keep them. Just like with any other activity that requires discipline (like exercising), you’ll be likely to write if you regularly schedule blocks of time to do so and plan around those writing times. Yes, sometimes interruptions or crises will throw you off track, but most days, you can be productive if you make writing times a habit.

* Capture your ideas. Carry supplies with you wherever you go to record writing ideas that come to you unexpectedly. You can type fresh insights into your Blackberry, scribble them down on a notepad, or even speak them into a portable audio recorder. That way, you won’t waste time trying to remember those great writing ideas that sometimes come to you in the unlikeliest of places, such as while doing laundry or walking your dog. Later, when you’re ready to write, you can easily retrieve your ideas.

Hope these tips help you make more time for your own writing. I’ll plan to post more tips in a future blog.

P.S. While you’re writing, please consider sending me a true story of an angelic encounter or miraculous experience (like a dramatically answered prayer) to post on the Angels and Miracles site I edit for About.com. Your story can inspire many people! You can send it to me at: angels.guide@about.com