Finding the time to write – your secret weapon

9781440557286Last weekend, I headed south to attend the North Louisiana Romance Writer’s chapter conference, NOLA’s Written in the Stars. My topic? Time management or finding the time to write.

We’re all busy. If you’re not, you should be writing.  No excuses. (grin)

But for those of us who juggle day jobs, families, household chores,and an occasional workout, time is hard to come by.  Or at least time when your refreshed and creative.

So here are a few best practices that came from the workshop

-Set a writing appointment with yourself.  Treat this like you would your doctor appointment.  Just do it.

-Plan ahead for your writing.  Plot, prepare, and set up your family with dinner before you set down for your writing time.

-Use hot tea, or a lighted candle, or mood music to get your muse in the room.

-Get up an hour earlier each day to write.

-Stay off the computer while you write.

So what are your best time management skills? Share with the group.

Lynn

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6 Comments

  1. I do like to write in the morning, before my day job. I generally go to Starbucks. They open early. I’m too wiped by the end of the day to have any creativity! 🙂 Great post, Lynn.
    -R.T. Wolfe

    • Hey RT – I think finding your creative time is crucial. I never got in the hang of going somewhere else, but my morning is kind of quiet.

  2. Great post Lynn! and I think this is the one issue all writers have. They say you must write something – anything – every day but “they” never tell you how to find time. My only time to write is at night after the kids are in bed and all other work is done – which means usually between 9 and 11 at night before I crash. Music is my muse and I have divided all my music into playlists depending on the scene I am writing (i.e. love scenes, soul searching, etc.) – if I ever lose my iPhone, i’m in trouble! But without my music at night – I’d never get anything written!

    • I find it hard (not impossible but hard) to write at night. However, I’ve been social media-ing away my am time, so I’m forcing myself to get at least an hour in a day. Right now, I’m in edit land.

  3. Before I started writing seriously, I spent most of my career as a working musician. One of the first things I learned in music was to treat it like a regular job. That meant setting a schedule for solo practice, learning new material, rehearsing with the band, and handling all the grunt work like publicity, taxes, etc. The same holds true for writing: even if you’re working a day job, set aside specific ‘office hours’ for writing and make certain you don’t allow anyone to interrupt you.

    If you don’t take your work seriously, who will?

    Phillip K. Dick actually rented a studio to work in. He got up every a.m., kissed his wife good-bye, and left for work like everyone else. Most of us can’t afford that, so we have to make do with time management instead! I’m retired now (from music anyway) but I still stick to a schedule. Handle mail, take care of household chores, work out twice a week, then write until 6 p.m. I’ve spent my life as a working artist of some sort, and trust me – those who succeed are those who treat it like a business.


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