#MondayBlogs Making More Time To Write

19 Dec

I wish I had more time to write.

Am I right?

But seriously, every writer I know wishes they had more time to write, and most writers also know it’s a matter of making more time to write. (You know, unless you managed to get your hands on Hermione Granger’s Time-Turner, in which case, lucky you.)

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But how does someone make more time to write?

1. Study your schedule

2. See what you can adjust

3. Set a new schedule and stick with it

Sounds simple, right? But we all know it isn’t.

We have schedules for a reason. They work. We’ve figured out how much time we need each morning to make breakfast and get ready for work. We know how much energy we have to expend throughout the day, and we know that we HAVE to watch that new KDrama releasing this month. (I mean, we all need to satisfy our vices every now and then, right?)

But here’s the truth: You CAN change your schedule…and it might be a little uncomfortable at first. You also might have to change it more than once to find that extra timeslot that works for you.

Want an example?

Recently, I wanted to meet a deadline early, but I knew I didn’t have enough time in my day to do so. In fact, I rarely write every day. My full-time job on the computer often leaves me exhausted and, quite frankly, sick of staring at a computer screen. Add carpal tunnel, and, well, it gets easy to say no to writing after work. But I knew that was my weak point, so I started there.

I set my goal: Wake up an hour early every day just to write. Before emails. Before social media. Before work. Before everything. Just an hour to write.

The first three days were awesome. Granted, I started my goal on a weekend. That way, I was still rewarded with a little extra sleep. But then the workweek came.

Holy hell. The first day wasn’t bad, but the second? UGH. The fifth day was probably the worst day, though the sixth day had me wondering if I really wanted to do this. At one point, I actually wrote less than my usual amount, because I was too tired to concentrate. Then, the seventh day came, and I adjusted much faster that morning. Now, it’s routine.

After I adjusted, I definitely reached my goals and wrote more than I expected. (I added an extra hour of writing time, after all.) I’m still getting up an hour early every day, and so far, so good. I don’t feel any more tired than I used to, and I’m more productive than I was before. I mainly attribute this to the fact that I start my day with writing. Even though I’m not a morning person, it’s easy to get bogged down by the day, but if I start writing before all of that pressure puts me down, I can write without worry, without distraction, and without the world of work life. Granted, I’m not telling everyone to do what I did. Your goals are going to be different than mine, because your life is different than mine. But I promise you, you can find more time without a Time-Turner.

So, here are three additional tips.

1. Consider what is actually holding you back. For me, it was work exhaustion, so I knew I had to find time before work. But I was hesitant. I’m not a morning person. I’m a monster in the mornings. And this fact terrified me before I even started. I was sure I would fail, but I didn’t. Don’t let your limitations set you back. Many limitations are like your schedule: You set them. You can also change them. (Though I still don’t consider myself a morning person.)

2. Make smaller goals within your larger ones. Having a goal beyond “I just want to write more” helped me push myself to reach expectations. I had a deadline. This smaller goal helped me stay focused on something specific and attainable. If you go in thinking you’re changing your life, it might make you feel overwhelmed, but if you go in thinking you’re trying to change your week, it will feel reachable.

3. Tough out your new schedule. As you saw above, I had ups and downs. I had mornings I questioned myself, and plenty of times I wanted to stay in bed, but I didn’t. I forced myself to get up again and again, and eventually, I adjusted. Personally, I suggest toughing out your schedule for at least two weeks to see if you can adjust to it. If you can’t, try another adjustment.

Changing anything in your life isn’t easy, but having more time to write?

Now, that’s worth it.

~SAT

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11 Responses to “#MondayBlogs Making More Time To Write”

  1. Charles Yallowitz December 19, 2016 at 5:32 am #

    That second tip is what gets me through the week. Tiny victories can be so energizing. I think I need a clone more than a time turner though.

    • Shannon A Thompson December 19, 2016 at 5:37 am #

      A clone would be fun! ( And a writer getting a clone would be a funny novel. )
      ~SAT

      • Charles Yallowitz December 19, 2016 at 5:39 am #

        Either a comedy or a horror with the two fighting over who gets to write. Closest I can find is Multiplicity with Michael Keaton.

  2. The Animation Commendation December 19, 2016 at 10:13 am #

    I wanna start writing; I have so many ideas for books that I wanna write. I should take your advice and make a schedule.

  3. debyfredericks December 19, 2016 at 10:52 am #

    A timely post as we approach the season for New Year’s resolutions. I do think it’s important to be realistic with goals, and I like your point about smaller specific steps. If you need to encourage yourself, you can say, “I’m only doing X today, and not the whole Y.”

    • Shannon A Thompson December 19, 2016 at 4:36 pm #

      Small goals have always helped me hit larger ones. Instead of thinking “I have to finish a book,” I try to focus on “I should finish this chapter,” and eventually those chapters turn into a book. 😀
      ~SAT

  4. adeleulnais December 20, 2016 at 12:59 pm #

    Yep, I sympathise with you. I love the idea you gave about smaller goals. Will try it. and K Drama, oh yeah. Do you know Lee Jun Ki is going to star in the last ever Resident Evil movie? He is and always will be my favourite Korean actor.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. #MondayBlogs Making More Time To Write — Shannon A Thompson – Alpha-Omega-Affiliate - December 19, 2016

    […] via #MondayBlogs Making More Time To Write — Shannon A Thompson […]

  2. When Your Writing Issue Is… | Shannon A Thompson - July 24, 2017

    […] you can and write what you can. Don’t beat yourself up. Just do your best. Related article: Making More Time to Write & Confessions of a Slow […]

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