How to Make the Most of Your Writing Time
When you have a million ideas but no time to write
Too busy to write
I’m writing this while my one-year-old naps. I’ve managed to squeeze a few minutes to write in between tidying the lounge room, unpacking the dishwasher, having a shower and setting up a new computer in the office.
I feel guilty because I should be sending invoices, sorting the business mail, calling that guy about the quote.
Anything but writing this article.
I’ve got 20 draft blog articles on the go, but not enough time to finish writing them all.
Something has to give.
What’s the solution?
For me, it’s about prioritising. I’m a list person. I start my day by opening my planner and writing all the things I want to achieve.
I put a little checkbox next to each task because I love seeing that big tick ✔️ when I’ve completed a task.
It’s important to feel a sense of satisfaction.
Even if the completed task is something small like emptying the dishwasher, I still feel a sense of satisfaction when I tick the checkbox.
It’s one step closer to achieving that elusive “me time” at the end of my workday.
Me time = writing time. And it’s when I’m most relaxed.
Sometimes I cheat.
I don’t always tick off all my daily tasks before I start writing. Sometimes I sneak in a few cheeky minutes to draft a blog article.
I like to use my phone to write ideas. I edit articles while I watch my toddler run around the yard.
I even bring my phone to the bathroom because my best ideas usually come when I’m in the shower. I’ll quickly hop out of the shower and type that inspirational blog idea into my phone before I finish conditioning my hair. Maybe I need to invest in a waterproof phone!
Writing is my reward.
Writing time is my reward at the end of a busy day. I get to fill a blank page with my thoughts. To release the struggles of motherhood I have within me. Ask those questions I’ve been longing to share with others.
A few simple strategies to manage your time
Along with keeping a daily planner, I use simple strategies to make the most of my time.
Give up TV time
You need to sacrifice something to give yourself free time to write. For me, it’s TV time. I love watching TV, it’s my escape. I even get suckered into watching the kids’ YouTube shows for a bit of escapism.
But in order to be productive, you need to make the most of your free time. I’m not super strict about cutting all my TV time, but if I want to succeed in my writing career I know I need to focus on my writing.
Early morning or late night
I love to sleep, but I love writing even more. I’m happy to give up a couple of hours of sleep time in order to write.
I usually write late at night when the kids are in bed because they’re early risers and I can’t handle the thought of waking up earlier than them.
However, I’m aware of when my body can’t function because of too little sleep (or too much stress). During those times I can’t even think about writing. And that’s okay.
I’m a big fan of talking. Ask my partner and he’ll agree. So my final strategy I like to use is to speak my ideas onto my phone voice app.
It’s great when you’re driving or in bed and can’t be bothered to write out your ideas. My inspiration also seems to flow better when I speak the thoughts aloud.
The only downside is having to transcribe everything I’ve said, which can be a lot of extra work, and being time-poor as it is, that can be a struggle.
Usually, I’ll replay my recorded notes and write the best parts rather than transcribe them word-for-word. And it’s working well so far.
Finding time to write is all about prioritising your day. It’s about figuring out what works for you, but also being aware of your body and its needs.
In the end, you’re going to find time to write in your busy day because it’s what you love to do. And that’s gotta be a win for you.
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Lana Graham is Editor of Mama Write. She writes about parenting and her writing journey and lives in Sydney, Australia with her partner (her rock) and their three amazing sons.