Finding the time or motivation to write is not easy. Throw in a full-time job and raising a family into the mix and you have a challenge on your hands. I should know, I’ve just described my life. But it can be done. I’ve found time to write a book, rear four children, manage full-time shift work, and cope with an unwanted paranormal guest. What drives me? A newly discovered love of writing…and some useful coping tools. So here you go, my top ten tips on how to find time to write.
Get your bum on the seat and start writing. You may not even know what you are going to write about. Just get the first sentence down and keep going. Do it while the kids are doing their homework and set aside ‘quiet times’ to get creative.
2. Don’t stop
Now is not the time to edit, don’t criticise your work. Yes it may read like crap but this will get you into the creative zone and the more you write the better you will get. Just enjoy free flow writing until you find your ‘voice’ and decide what genre you connect with.
3.Schedule & Believe
Make the time, don’t make excuses (you may begin to get creative and make up ones you haven’t heard before). Fear breeds procrastination. Just do it. Your mind is a powerful tool, make it work for you. If it’s too hard to find the time in the evenings then get up thirty minutes earlier in the mornings. Read The Success Principles by Jack Canfield and watch The Secret. I highly recommend them. Sometimes as parents we forget our own dreams and aspirations. Make time for you.
4. Become time-creative
Write during your lunch break. Carry a note pad and become observant. It’s amazing what pops into your head when you get used to taking note of the world.
5. Challenge yourself
If you like challenges then try NaMoWriMo. Too much? Then set yourself a daily goal instead. Get a wall planner and mark a big red X each day you write 1,000 or 3,000 words, what ever you can handle.Read, read, and read some more. It will inspire you to do better. Listen to audio books while commuting to work or walking the dog.
6. Give up TV
Surfing the net, Facebook, or something else that soaks your time and does your brain no good whatsoever (and I don’t mean the kids!) Life is all about priorities. Do you want to write or not? Time the boring stuff. Set aside your days off to get the housework done in record time then use your precious free time to write.
Get your family to help out with the chores and use your precious time to get out of the house to write. Coffee shops are a wonderful source of inspiration and at least nobody will interrupt you saying ‘Mum do you know where….’
8.Don’t give up, even when it gets hard
It will be difficult at first and your writing may not be up to the standard you want it to be. When you feel this frustration this is the time to really push on. So many people give up at this point. Your brain is getting used to your new flow and creating new synapses to help you. Be a great role model for your kids. I recommend Stephen King’s book on writing.
9. You write, therefore you are a writer
Think of yourself as a writer, believe it and you will get better. Write what you know, start off small and write a blog, it’s free on WordPress. It’s a sacrifice when time is so limited but it’s worth it.
10.Create your own space.
Explain to your family how much it means to you. I write everywhere with my Macbook, but some people prefer having their own desks. If there is one piece of equipment I recommend for writing, it’s a Macbook Air equipped with app ‘Scrivener’. However you don’t need to jump in to such expense just yet. A pen and paper will work just fine.
I hope you have found these tips useful. They work for me. Have you any great suggestions for juggling family and finding time to write? I’d love to hear them. Please sign up to my blog if you would like to hear more. Thank you to my lovely followers, I appreciate you all!
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