Frankly, the best way I’ve found time to write is by taking online writing classes. I love them. The deadlines as well as feedback from my instructors and classmates are amazing motivators. Last fall, I was taking a creative nonfiction writing class, working full-time and co-planning a 1,400-mile move. And I was writing prolifically.
How did I do it?
- I gave up TV.
- I told everyone—work, family, friends, even strangers—about my class. It was my number one priority.
- I was anti-social. Since my honey was in another city for work during those two months, I was in my favorite writing spot from 7 p.m. on Friday until I finally went to sleep on Sunday night.
It was exhausting—and exhilarating. I really pushed myself and could feel my craft muscles stretching. The thrill of being so fueled to write balanced out the loneliness and stress.
And then I moved and needed to grow my business. Finding work during the holiday season—as the news of the economy grew worse each day—was the sole occupant of my thoughts. It’s been like that most of the year, with only an essay draft here or there. Most of my non-client writing time has gone to my blog.
At least I’m still writing. That’s what I tell myself when I’ve got a blog post finished but my other projects languish, untouched. It’s not enough.
I am starting to carve out time for my writing. While I would love to take another class, I can’t really justify it. I haven’t given any attention to the work I produced in my last class—and it’s time for me to build that discipline on my own.
How will I do it?
- Scheduling time for my writing as though I’m my own client. I am promising myself that I’ll be protective of that time. If I absolutely must change my schedule one week, I’ll make sure I still have the same number of hours to write.
- Sharing my plans with friends and family so they know my priorities. Maybe that will also help me stick with it!
- Setting goals. My goals will be right in front of me – every time I look up while I’m in my office, I will see what I need to accomplish in bold print.
One thing I won’t do is publicize that writing time. I’ve determined how many hours I want to carve out each week and how I want that time to look. But I’m keeping it somewhat private as a way to protect it. I want to avoid any discussion that starts with, “Well, that’s your writing time. You can move it.”
How do you make time to write? What keeps you motivated? Do you share your writing schedule or goals with clients/ employers? Do you have a favorite tip for making your writing a priority? Please share! The floor is yours.