It never fails. You have all these ideas in your head but you can’t seem to find the time to write them down.
You woke up, ate breakfast, went to work or school, did your business, came home, ate dinner, spent time with your family, watched the news or a favorite TV show, dealt with pressing issues like bills, spent some time checking Facebook, got distracted and went down several rabbit holes, checked email, watched the funny YouTube video grandma sent, then another, and another…finally you look up and it’s time for bed.
And you haven’t written a word.
Who’s In Charge? You or Your Schedule
When you can’t seem to find the time to write on a regular basis, it’s time to reassess a couple of things.
First, reassess your priorities. Are you really a writer? If you are, then you won’t let trivial things get in your way.
Second, reassess your schedule. Do you have one? Who’s in control? Do you control your schedule, or do you let it control you?
You may find that you really don’t have a schedule to speak of. You’ve never established a routine, and now your writing is paying the price.
Literary agent Rachelle Gardner posted six things she learned from Hemingway. One is relevant here today:
He prioritized his writing. Hemingway treated writing as his most important work, even when he was doing other jobs to make ends meet.
It’s Time to Take Charge
Set up a writing routine. Start now. Start today. Make it a priority. It’s one of the best things you can do for your writing, and it’s good for your family as well.
Maybe you’re a morning person. Get up a little bit earlier and write. If you’re a night owl, focus on writing once everyone else has bedded down for the night.
What if your weekly schedule is too hectic to schedule the same time each day? Well, then try to set aside the same amount of time and an agreed upon signal that you’re not to be disturbed unless the house is on fire.
It could be when you close the door to your bedroom or study, that’s everyone’s cue to leave you alone. Perhaps you fire up iTunes on your computer as you write and throw on the headphones. Headphones on = Do Not Disturb.
Protect that time, but let the family know you’re available for them when the time is up.
Whatever you do, make a plan and do it. You need the time and space to get into the story. Time and space to re-immerse yourself in the story’s world. Time and space to get back into your character’s heads.
What’s your routine? Share it with us in the comments.