Tuesday, November 10, 2015

How to Find Time to Write this Season

The holidays are upon us and I know what you’re thinking: “How on earth am I going to get any writing done between now and the end of the year?”

There’s shopping, holiday parties (hosting and attending) and events, and various distractions that seem to only happen in November and December. Here’s a secret. We have lots of pockets of time throughout the day when we could be writing. Use them.

 Here are five places to find time to write during the busy holiday season.

  1. While Waiting. Whether you are waiting to meet someone, for an appointment. Or in line, take out a notebook or start writing down your thoughts on your mobile device. 
  2. In Transit. Voice to text technology has gotten so much better (anyone reading remember when you had to train your voice recognition software?). Verbalize your ideas while en route, just make sure you don’t get over-enthusiastic or distracted. 
  3. During Exercise. Why not also use record your thoughts while working out? Your mind is clear, so you’ll probably come up with some fantastic ideas. 
  4. Get Up Early. Set your alarm to go off 15 to 30 minutes early, and get in some writing before you start your day. Yes, you can also stay up late.
  5. Swap Time. We all need downtime, but just swap just one television episode or 15 minutes of social media time for writing time every other day. When you see your progress, it will be worth it. 

And here are five things to write when only you have a short period of time:

  1. Journal.. Are you happy? Overwhelmed? Frustrated? Amused by something you just saw? Write it down. Gather your emotions and observations, and write them down as fuel for future projects. 
  2. Ideas. Similar to journaling, keep a dedicated notebook or computer document for all ideas to use in future writing projects. They don’t even have to be complete thoughts, a list of ideas will serve the same purpose. This is the perfect distraction while waiting in long lines at checkout. 
  3. Blog Post Draft. Perhaps you will not have a complete, ready to go blog post in 15 minutes, but you can certainly write a draft. And then rewrite it on your next 15 minute block of time.
  4. A Pitch. Write a query for a book, article, story, screenplay. 
  5. Your Work in Progress. A few minutes here and there on your work in progress will add up. Granted, more time is better. But even if you add words to your non-fiction book, novel, or screenplay for a few minutes a day, it will stay on top of mind and continue to progress.
  6. Bonus: Edit. Anything. 

Don’t let the busy holiday season keep you  from writing. Use those pockets of time to move forward and keep you happily distracted from the craziness of the season.

* * *
Debra Eckerling is a writer, editor and project catalyst, as well as founder of Guided Goals and Write On Online, a live and online writers’ support group. 

She is the host of the Guided Goals Podcast and author of Purple Pencil Adventures: Writing Prompts for Kids of All Ages. 

She is an editor at Social Media Examiner and a speaker/moderator on the subjects of writing, networking, goal-setting, and social media.


Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

Deb, you have always been a gifl after my own heart. This is my normal, everyday approach to getting writing time in! It's all about keeping computer keys under your fingers or a pencil in them, huh?

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

PS: I tweeted to my 22,000 plus followers on Twitter--and none of them purchased. That means most of them are writers! And they will LOVE you! http://twitter.com/frugalbookpromo

Debra Eckerling said...

It's also about not letting the world get the better of you, and finding time to write, even when you have none!

Debra Eckerling said...

Thanks! xoxo

Shirley Corder said...

Thanks for this reminder Debra. Traveling with my husband driving is the one time I still use my AlphaSmart. It is light and non-dangerous on my lap and it's surprising how much I can get done in between our chats.

Shirley Corder said...

Thanks for this reminder Debra. Traveling with my husband driving is the one time I still use my AlphaSmart. It is light and non-dangerous on my lap and it's surprising how much I can get done in between our chats.

Debra Eckerling said...

Sweet! Happy writing! - Deb

Karen Cioffi said...

Almost missed this post. Great ideas for getting writing in. I use 1, 2, and 3 for places to write. I had a doctor tell me I shouldn't be working on my laptop in the patient room. I guess I should have been sitting there twiddling my thumbs waiting for him. Ah, good old doc appointments.
What I write is anything that needs to get done.

Apply, Apply, Apply By Mindy Lawrence A writer I know decided to stick her neck out and apply for an international writing residency. Gu...