By Heather Moore
“How do you find time to write?” is a question that I hear often. And anyone who isn’t an obsessive compulsive writer will wonder the same thing.
Before I list some ideas, here’s a warning: If writing has already taken over your entire life, don’t read the following list. It will just give you more excuses of why not to take out the garbage.
1. Limit the number of email lists you join. This can take up an incredible amount of time. Join one or two that you feel are very helpful. I have a specific email account that I use for the lists I’m on and they don’t feed into my Outlook. That way I don’t see all the emails unless I specifically go to the list.
2. Are you blogging more than you’re writing? Enough said.
3. Invest in a laptop or a Neo Alphasmart. Annette Lyon swears by hers. You are now portable. Writing can be done in an airport, at the park, a café, or even waiting to see the dentist.
4. Hire a nanny. Just kidding. I read this suggestion once in an article. Maybe if you are able to justify the expense, minus your royalties, and still profit. But, joking aside, you need to treat your writing as a job. Some days you’ll have to force yourself to put in that hour or two—just like any other job.
5. Set word count goals. Stay away from blocking out hours. Well, you can block out time to write, but if you don’t have a word count goal, I can guarantee those email lists you are on will see higher traffic from you during those time blocks. Even if you decide you are writing 500 words a day or 2,000, keep a running total at the bottom of your manuscript and watch the numbers grow.
6. Reward system: I didn’t mean for this blog to turn into a motivation tool, but I just achieved a writing goal that took me nearly 6 months of writing, 2 months of editing, then 3 more months of rewriting. My reward? After I edit the hard copy, I’m going to read Harry Potter Seven and New Moon. And maybe I’ll spring for a pedicure--with the flowers.
7. Choose now. TV or writing?
8. Set wacky hours. With summer in full swing, I usually write from 8:00 p.m. to midnight.
9. Take at least one day off a week from writing anything. Recharge your creativity. Give your poor hands a break. Smell the roses.
10. You do have to shower and clean your house even if you’re a writer. Set the timer for thirty minutes and clean like mad. Julie Wright gets all sorts of inspiration cleaning out her closets. Then make a cup of hot something and you’ll be ready to write when you sit down at your computer.
It's all about the balance.