Book-lovers often dream of writing their own book, but they never seem to find the time. Life is always getting in the way – work, family, friends, and the million other things that fill up our days. But if you’re serious about writing a book, you need to find a way to make time for it.
I'm going to share 10 actionable tips that have personally helped me find time to write, even when life is busy. Hopefully, they'll help you too!
1. Set a realistic goal
The number one question I get asked is "How do you find time to write a book?" And my answer is always the same: You have to make time. You have to set a goal and make a plan to reach that goal.
For me, that means setting aside at least an hour each day to write. But it doesn't have to be all at once--you can break it up into smaller chunks of time if that's easier. The important thing is to just keep moving forward. Every day, every week, every month, until you reach your goal.
Focus on laying one brick at a time.
In my case, that's writing 1,000 words a day. It doesn't sound like much, but it adds up fast. And if I miss a day or two, I don't sweat it. The important thing is to keep moving forward. That's why I always keep a notebook with me so I can jot down ideas whenever they pop into my head. And I make sure to set aside at least an hour each day to work on my book.
2. Sacred Writing Time
If you want to be a successful writer, you need to treat your writing time as sacred. That means setting aside a specific time each day or week when you will write, and then making sure that you stick to it.
This is something I call Sacred Writing Time. It's when you set aside all other distractions and focus solely on your book. During Sacred Writing Time, you should aim to write at least 1000 words.
But even if you don't reach that goal, the important thing is that you're making progress on your book. So make sure to set aside some Sacred Writing Time each week, and don't let anything else interfere with it. Your book will thank you for it.
3. Leave The Car Today
If you usually drive to work, consider taking public transportation instead. By doing so, you'll free up some time that you can use to write. This could be anything from brainstorming ideas to writing a few paragraphs of your book.
4. Get Up Earlier
Another way to find time to write is to get up early and use that extra time to work on your book. I know this isn't always possible, but if you can swing it, getting up even just 30 minutes earlier can make a big difference.
Most people say that in the morning, there are no distractions and they can focus all of their attention on their writing. You may not be able to write for hours at a time, but even just 30 minutes of uninterrupted writing can help you make significant progress on your book.
So if you're looking for ways to find more time to write, try setting your alarm clock a little bit earlier and using that extra time to work on your masterpiece.
5. Use Your Lunch Break
This is a small sacrifice to make for the greater good! If you usually take a lunch break, see if you can use that time to write instead. You don't have to forgo your lunch entirely, but maybe you can eat at your desk while you work on your book.
Or, if you usually go out to lunch with friends or co-workers, see if they would be open to you bringing your laptop and working on your book while you eat. That way, you can kill two birds with one stone by getting some writing done and spending time with your friends.
And if all else fails, or you find that you need to be alone, do that! Just try to at the very least use your lunch break to brainstorm ideas for your book. That way, when you sit down to write, you'll have a solid plan to work from.
Again, a small sacrifice.
6. Write Before Bed
If you have trouble falling asleep at night, try writing before bed instead. This could be anything from brainstorming ideas to writing a few paragraphs of your book. And who knows, you might just find that you sleep better when you've cleared your mind by getting some writing done.
Studies have shown that people who write before bed fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly than those who don't. So if you're struggling to catch some z's, give it a try! You might just find that a little bit of writing is all you need to get a good night's rest.
7. Divide Your Overall Word Count Goal
One of the best ways to make sure you're making progress on your book is to set a word count goal. If you know how long your first draft will be, you can break that number down into manageable chunks.
This was you won't need to stick to a strict 1000 per day type of number but rather, a weekly or monthly goal.
For example, if you want to write a 60,000 first draft and want to complete your book in the next 3 months. You can quite comfortably break your goals down into chunks of 20,000 words per month. You can then aim for 1000 words per day with factored in days off, or write even less than that each day with little pressure.
Divide and conquer!
8. Bye, Neflix....Prime....Hulu.... Apple TV
I'm not saying you have to give up your favorite shows entirely. But if you're finding that you don't have enough time to write, try cutting back on your TV time. Just an extra hour or two each week can make a big difference.
And who knows, maybe you'll discover that you don't need all that TV time after all. Maybe you can use that extra time to finally finish your book. Or maybe, you'll just enjoy the peace and quiet. Either way, it's worth a try. So turn off the TV and get writing!
9. Use Voice Recorder
The voice recording phone app can be your best friend and writing assistant if you let it!
If you're ever feeling stuck, or just don't have the time to sit down and write, try using your voice recorder to dictate your ideas. This can be a great way to brainstorm or even just get some words down on "paper."
You can then transcribe your recording later when you have more time. But in the meantime, you'll have a lot of great ideas to work from. So next time you're feeling stuck, try using your voice recorder to help you out.
10. Keep a Writing Journal
If you're like me, sometimes you have great ideas but don't always know how to get them down on "paper." That's why I'm a big fan of writing journals. A writing journal can be anything from a notebook to a Word document. Just somewhere where you can jot down your ideas without having to worry about editing or making them perfect.
This is a great way to brainstorm or just get some words down on "paper." And who knows? Maybe one of those ideas will be the next big thing! So go ahead, grab a pen and paper and start writing. You never know where it might lead.
You might also want to try our Story Planner Templates!
11. Join a Writing Group
I know, social media is definitely considered counter production, especially when the name of the game is using time wisely. However, no matter how motivated you are, sometimes it's just helpful to have someone to hold you accountable. That's why joining a writing group can be so beneficial.
When you join a group, you'll have other writers to keep you on track and offer support and feedback. There are plenty of Facebook groups and online forums specifically for writers. So if you're looking for some accountability, try joining one of these groups. You might be surprised at how helpful it can be.
If you need a bit more inspiration, check out this post - Where Do Writers Find Inspiration?