Showing posts with label time to write. Show all posts
Showing posts with label time to write. Show all posts

Writing Time

Too Little Time?

By gnuckx [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
Sunset, Italy 
How much time do you spend writing per day? I know many of us are not able to settle down for five days a week as professional writers. We juggle home/family commitments, other jobs.

But take a second or two once in a while to review your precious writing time and consider how much of it is truly spent in the white heat of creation.

I spend far too long writing articles. I excuse this by saying I need thinking  time.

But if I'm honest, that should be happening while I make the beds or wash the dishes. How long does it take to jot down a few bullet points or dictate a memo when you have an idea on the move?

With an outline and a few headings, the article or blog post is as good as written.

Or Too Much?

Too much time can be as much of a drawback as too little. Many authors think that having more time to write will mean they write twice as much.

In fact, this is rarely the case. The secret is not time but focus. And my focus is demonstrably sharper when deadlines loom and time is of the essence.

Set a timer, how much can you write in ten minutes? Work with happy music and a driving beat--how fast do you write?
Do you write at your fastest every day?

And if you do, please tell me how you do it.

For an in-depth look at the importance of focus, see this article by Karen Cioffi-Ventrice on productivity strategies.

 Anne Duguid is a freelance content editor with MuseItUp Publishing and she passes on helpful writing,editing and publishing tips from time to time at Slow and Steady Writers 

Stealing Writing Time - Where to Find Time When You Don’t Have Any Extra

Stealing Time - Where to Find Time When You Don’t Have Any Extra

Guest Post by Marcie Flinchum Atkins

I know you can’t really steal time. In fact, if you could, I would steal it, put it in some big boxes up in my attic, then pull a little out on busy days.

My life consists of a full-time job, a husband, two small kids, and writing. I should give myself the job title of “round-the-clock juggler.” And I know I’m not alone.

Since writing is such an important part of my life, I have to find ways to make it priority without ignoring responsibilities. In an ideal world, I’d write 6 hours a day, uninterrupted. But since that isn’t going to happen in the foreseeable future, I improvise by stealing time where I can.

Waiting Time

Wait for the right time to steal. Instead of getting frustrated that the doctor is running 20 minutes late, you can be thankful for the bonus writing time, if you prepare ahead of time. No matter what your lot in life, I know you have waiting time—at doctor’s offices, pick-up times for kids’ practices, when you’re getting your hair colored. I always carry a bag with a current project. Sometimes it’s hard for me to get big chunks of writing time while I’m waiting. However, these are great times to edit or brainstorm.

Planning Time

Stealing doesn’t always involve the act itself. Sometimes you have to plan to steal. Since I spend some of my waking hours cooking, doing dishes, or cleaning (though I swear I do the bare minimum), sometimes those mundane tasks are good planning time. While it’s not always intentional, these are times I work out writing problems in my brain. That plot issue I can’t fix while staring at the computer screen will often occur to me while I’m chopping an onion.

Other people find walking or gardening good tasks that work the body and loosen the writing brain.

Then when you actually get screen time, you can pound out the problem.

Wee Hours

People don’t usually steal in broad daylight. I write best when the rest of the world is asleep, or at least the people in my little world are asleep. Some people are late night writers. I’m an early morning writer. Even an hour before the rest of the house gets up can provide me with prime writing time. An hour a day adds up.

Plan Your Escape

If you are going to steal, you have to have a getaway plan. While, you might not be able to escape very often, even once a month is great. Plan a time to go to a coffee shop or a local library for a few hours. But plan ahead. Know before you leave exactly what the task is at hand. If you don’t know, you are liable to surf the internet instead of tackling those chapter revisions.

Stealing time happens in small increments. If you can figure out a way to grab ten minutes here, half-hour there, a couple of hours on a weekend, then you will make progress in your writing. Don’t wait until you can steal a whole weekend for your writing. Start now—chipping away at the moments you can find in the life you already have. 

Marcie Flinchum Atkins steals time to write in between her day job and her life with her family. She has an M.A. and and M.F.A. in children’s literature from Hollins University and blogs about making time to write at:


Building a Writer’s Portfolio
Freelance Writing Work – The Possibilities
How to Write a Novel – Start with a Novel Outline

Finding Time to Write Without Quitting Your Day Job

“Time stays long enough for those who use it.” – Leonardo Da Vinci

Are you struggling to find time to write?  Most writers I know have a “day job”, family, friends and lots of commitments.  They write around the corners of their lives.  Without the luxury to write full time, it is easy to get off track and run out of steam on a project.  So how do we squeeze more writing time into our life?  It requires getting organized, establishing routines and a willingness to say no.

You can increase your productivity by getting organized.  If it takes you ten minutes to figure out which is your last draft, you’ve lost valuable writing time.  A great organizational tool if you are working on a novel is the program Scrivener.  I think Scrivener’s biggest advantage is its simplicity in moving and tracking text.  Scrivener costs about $40 and they offer a 30 day free trial, so you can check it out for yourself.

Find a set time each week to write.  Schedule it into your calendar and make sure to keep this personal appointment.   There is a direct relationship between keeping this date with yourself and how much you value your writing life.  Next, look for an additional place to squeeze in the work of writing, maybe you can read, write or people watch on your lunch hour.  Do you see your character in the man behind the counter at the pannini shop?  Just adding 15 minutes a day to your writing time can catapult your writing forward.

When you want more time for your writing, it’s time to work your “no muscle”. Before you agree to be on that committee or take on a new project, take a deep breath and think about it.  Is this something you need to do?  Is it taking you away from writing or your other priorities?  What would happen if you said no?   One way to strengthen you your “no muscle” is with your phone.  Do you answer it when writing?  Just think of the time you can add to your writing minutes if you ignore your phone.

If squeezing more writing time into your life feels overwhelming, try just one of the above strategies for 21 days and you’ll be amazed in the difference it can make.  Do you have a creative strategy for eeking out extra writing time?  I’d love to hear your ideas.

Mary Jo Guglielmo is writer and intuitive life strategist.  If you want to push your writing dream forward, join her 4 week Big Dream Challenge

For more information check out
or folllow her at:

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