Thursday, 15 March 2018

Finding Time to Write

Being a writer isn't hard.

But being a working writer who earns all their income from their writing is hard.

And one of the reasons it's hard is because it requires a lot of uninterrupted hours of work.

Unlike other careers, writing requires 100% focus and concentration. I can do other jobs while being somewhat distracted, but when I write, I need to give it my full attention.

Every day I feel like I'm bombarded with the desire to do anything but write and this is because of the deep attention I have to give my writing, so it can feel much easier to do other things.

So I have to make sure that I sit down and write every day, even though I don't always feel like doing it.

One of the ways to find time to write every day is to figure out what approach is the best way for me.

Different people work in different ways, depending on their life, job and other life commitments.

But the 5 best known ways of finding time to write are:

Monastic. This means totally cutting yourself off from everything while you write, including no phone calls, no texts, no internet and not even allowing others to speak to you at all while you're working. And if necessary, go away from home to write like Maya Angelou did. She always rented a hotel room for a few weeks and would go there every day to do nothing but lay on the bed and write. Many other writers have also hidden themselves away at hotels so that they can write including Tennessee Williams, Charles Dickens and Stephen King.

Split times. This means having some times when you write and the rest of the time for more shallow (or other) jobs. This works well for those who have family and other commitments who can't shut themselves off completely like a monastic. So you might carve out one part of the day, or the week or the month, that you use only for writing.

Set times. This means that you set aside a certain amount of time for writing and never waiver from it, like say, you write from 5am to 7am before you go to work every day.

Journalistic. This is how many writers work and it means grabbing whatever time you can for writing whenever you find a free slot in your day/evening. It's a moment to moment approach but sometimes it's all you can do if, for instance, you have young children.

So what this all means is that you need to find out which approach to writing works best for you rather than try and live your ideal.

In other words,  you may want to shut yourself off like a monastic and go to a luxury hotel and write every day, but your job, your kids and your spouse, means you can't do it and so the journalistic approach to writing is all that you can do.

But whatever your situation, make sure it works and that you get your writing done.


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