Something that seems to be a recurring theme among writers is how to find time to write. Even non-writers tend to have something to say on this front. Many people seem to think that they could easily be the next great author if only they had the time to write. Keyword “if.”
The truth is, most of us don’t have time to write. I know I don’t. When I subtract the time I spend at my day job, the time I spend with my husband, time cleaning, time cooking, time sleeping, eating, etc, I am left with nothing.
Honestly, I feel like I’m left with a deficit of time.
Many writers face this challenge. It’s not about finding time; it’s about making it. This tends to be the biggest obstacle for new writers. Having the passion isn’t enough. You have to be ready to sacrifice and squeeze in writing. Then, once the writing is done, you have to move mountains yet again and make time to do everything else!
Making covers, building a website, self-promotion, blog posts like this—they all require more time than you ever imagine when you first set out to become a writer. Note: For the sake of this post, when I say “writing” I mean all the little things that contribute to our writing. All of these things, and research, and more.
You may already know this, and you’re wondering what the point of this post is. Perhaps you have plenty of time, in which case, maybe my next post will be more interesting to you.
This post is for those of us who fall behind and need reassurance they aren’t alone, those of us who are new to writing, and those of us who love a writer and wonder why they never seem to leave the house.
To become masters of our craft, time is something we have to master as well. Just as important as understanding arcs and hooks and SPAG, is identifying when you can write—and doing it.
It’s never about finding time. If you’re looking for it, you won’t find it. It’s not meant to be easy. How much time you make for your writing will depend on how serious you take your writing. That’s not to say a hobbyist takes their writing less seriously than an aspiring published novelist. The intent behind the writing isn’t the point. The point is that if you prioritize everything before your writing and aim to write only when you “find” time, don’t be surprised if you never meet your goals. There will always be another use for spare time if you don’t put your writing high on your to-do list.
How you manage your time will depend solely on you. I’m not a by-the-hour scheduler. I can’t write out a daily agenda and slot an hour for writing between lunch and an oil change. If you can, that’s great. Do that. If you’re like me, it may just mean skipping a shower here or there, or dragging your laptop or a notebook everywhere just in case. It may mean waking up an extra hour or half hour before you’d normally get up. It may mean staying up a bit later. I’m lucky that my writing time has become my “me time” and it makes me happy, even when I’m frustrated over plots.
So what is the big takeaway here?
If you love your writing, make time for it. If you love a writer, help them make time for it.
Evangeline Gold is best known for forum lurking and snark, but also writes naughty romances and occasionally has helpful advice. She loves to add a little magic to her stories, playing off existing folklore and myths while adding little twists. Vampires are her soft spot, and her true love will always be fantasy. Currently, she is working on the first novel in what aims to be a vast series. Vampires, intrigue, and delightful sex? Yes indeed.
More on Eva can be found at her own wordpress blog.