In a busy world, how do you find the time to write?
The luxury of time and space is afforded to very few; perhaps those talented/fortunate enough to win a writing space and/or time to write.
For most of us, the reality of day-to-day work/family/responsibility that is life impacts our ability to write. And yet, being both out in the world and being able to seclude oneself from the world are the twin arbiters of a writer’s life. We need stimulation – things to write about, but we also need time when the thoughts can jumble around freely without distraction.
I’ve tried many different systems of writing over the years. I can’t give a foolproof answer to how someone finds the time but what I can do is offer some insights and tips that have helped me.
I find I need a balance of time to ponder, time to recuperate, intense writing time and lots and lots of time for editing/revising. For me, it’s not as straightforward as ‘write everyday’ although I am trying to keep up with a minimum of 300 words on my current work-in-progress.
When I’m in a solid writing phase though I do need the high word count that the practice of writing everyday brings. What helps me then is a 1000 word per day goal, that’s the only way I know to get the writing down.
Which brings me to the point of this post.
It’s hard work drafting and revising and editing a piece of writing to publication but impossible if nothing’s down on paper/computer to begin with.
In other words, write something, anything. It doesn’t matter how bad it is, how much you hate it, how much you want to toss it, at least you have something. Something’s better than nothing. You can work with it; use it, change it, ditch it but you have the choice if there’s something there to begin with.
You don’t have to begin at the beginning either, especially if you’re tackling a novel or large piece of work, just start somewhere. You’ll be amazed what you can work with once you have something down.
At the end of 2019 I took part in my first ever NaNoWriMo.
For those who haven’t heard of it, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. It’s a US based ‘competition’ that anyone in the world can complete. The ‘competition’ is really you pitting yourself against you – ie. you challenge yourself to complete a novel, or part of a novel in November each year. You set the goal and if you meet it, you ‘win’ the competition.
It’s really useful if you need to kickstart yourself with your writing or to just get those words down.
I’ve been busy for the past 18 months finishing ‘The Sentinel’, promoting it and writing some other pieces but I’m about ready to revisit what I wrote in November, 2019. I had a look at some of it the other day and it’s OK-ish.
But the best part?
I have something. Something I can work with now. Something I can reshape and, hopefully, publish in the not-too-distant future.
Until next time,