Tuesday, May 19, 2015

You Do Too Have Time to Write!

"I wish I had time to write!"

Ever find yourself thinking that? Ever been on the receiving end of people saying that to you?

Lots of people think you need to sit down in front of the writing implement of your choice for hours on end to crank out the Next Awesome Bestseller, and while it helps, it isn't always necessary, and thinking that it is will just leave you spinning your wheels waiting for Enough Time.

When I started writing Heart of Steel, I had a guaranteed hour a day to work with. I work full-time, and I wrote like an absolute fiend during my fifteen-minute morning break and my 45-minute lunch break. It took a while, but I eventually ended up with a 54k-word novel. Neat, huh?

Now, this situation was not ideal, of course, because Heart of Steel was practically running out my ears at that point and I just wanted to get that sucker down, but it worked out okay in the end.

So how can you squeeze in the time to write? Here are some tips:
  • Carve out a block for writing. This can be an hour that you specifically set aside for writing. During this time, you don't answer the phone, you don't check your email, and you don't browse on Facebook. You just write on whatever project offers itself up to your brain.
  • Guard your writing time like it's the Holy Grail. Seriously. If you have housemates or family members you need to let them know that You Are Not To Be Bothered. Lock the door if you have to.
  • Trash your excuses. The Procrastination Monster is an insidious beat. If you find yourself thinking, "I'll sit down to write after I finish the dishes", or "let me just read this next article on Facebook", or ""Let me check my email first", STOP. Close that off. put everything else aside and writing. The other stuff will be there when you finish. (Exceptions: if the house is on fire, someone dear to you is bleeding, or a Roland Emmerich movie is happening in real life.)
  • Get in the habit. This one will be hard. Your brain might not always be cooperative during your writing time. Don't worry about it. If you're drawing a blank, just free-write. Get those words out. Set up a routine. Get in the habit. I had to do this during NaNoWriMo to make sure I got my word-count total down.
  • Use writing tools. I found a bunch of sites that offer reinforcement programs to encourage you to write, both positive reinforcement (Written? Kitten!) and negative reinforcement (Write or Die). You may need to play around with some of these to see what works for you.
  • Write whenever and wherever you can. If all else fails, bring your writing tools with you. My smartphone can access Google Docs, where all my works in progress are, so I can peck away at a story wherever I can find wi-fi. Failing that, bring a small notebook with you to capture ideas as they happen. Get creative!
If you follow these tips, soon enough you will be in the habit of writing. Guess what--that's all you need in order to crank out that story you have in your head! I won't happen all at once, but it will happen.

You just need to sit down and make it happen.