How to Find More Time to Write
This post will cover:
Why it’s so difficult to find time
3 ways to find more time to write
August Writing Retreat
Planning time to write can seem like the most difficult thing to do.
You can probably think of all the things you should be, could be, rather be doing than writing.
Like washing the car, cleaning out your closet, and finally organizing your desktop.
Harsh truth: The reason you do not have enough time to write is due to your thoughts and emotions.
We do the things that are important to us.
Even if want things to be important to us, it doesn’t mean our actions show that they are indeed important.
The more important question is, what is stopping you from writing?
Is it perfectionism?
Is it self-doubt and insecurity about your writing?
Is it another person or thing?
There is always the option to wake up earlier, go to bed later, or not watch the third episode in a row of The Handmaid’s Tale.
I will share with you 3 things that have helped me the most: journaling, shitty first draft, and designated writing time.
Engaging in daily journaling has cultivated the habit of writing. I do not use writing prompts and this forces my mind to get in the habit of writing out my thoughts as they come out.
I’m the only one who is going to read it so I can be free to write whatever and however.
I do not have to conform to any rules or styles to follow.
I just get to write.
I engage in this same practice when I go to write my shitty first draft (next section).
I often think that I don’t know enough or I need to read more before I can write.
Or I often indulge in worry and perfectionism.
Free writing, or journaling, helps to stop the voices and procrastination.
I simply just open up a document and write whatever comes to mind. Eventually, my writing turns to the topic.
I tell myself that I just need to do this for 20 minutes and if after 20 minutes, I’m still stuck, then I get to do something else.
But most of the time, I keep writing pass the 20 minutes and write my full shitty first draft.
Shitty First Draft
The goal of the first draft is to make it as shitty as possible. Write it so poorly that you would be ashamed to show it to your dog.
Writing shitty first draft helps us to get something on the paper; a starting place.
It is much easier to criticize, pick-a-part, or edit an existing document. It is extremely difficult to start from scratch.
The shitty first draft does not need any citations, headings, or even need to make sense.
Just need words on a paper.
You write and then walk away.
Give yourself time and then come back to edit it.
Designated Writing Time
Habits and discipline are the prices of goals and dreams. Motivation will fail you and will not sustain you. Even if you love what you’re doing, motivation can only take you so far.
Scheduling writing will build the habit of writing (similar to the daily journaling).
You most likely brush your teeth and shower every day. Your mind doesn’t question why you’re doing it at that time or how you’re doing it. You just do it.
Because it’s a habit. A discipline.
Writing can be the same way.
You can sign up for weekly or monthly writing groups if you don’t want it to be a daily practice.
You can even organize something with friends or classmates as a way to hold each other accountable.
In August, I will be hosting a virtual 2-day writing retreat.
Consider joining me.
You can find more information here.
What are some strategies that you use to write more? Let me know in the comments!