For most of the writers I know, finding ideas to write about is not an issue. Finding the time to craft these ideas into something worthy of sharing is another thing altogether. It takes effort. It takes discipline. It takes a certain amount of dogged determination.
Here are some pointers that I have found helpful:
1. Just sit down and do it! Don’t wait until you are less tired, more inspired, or not as busy. These are excuses that we’ve all used from time to time, but in the end they are still excuses. Dust and dishes tend to regenerate—we’re all too busy—and that mystical muse gets far more credit than it should. Take control of your time and your muse. I have found that beginning is usually the biggest hurdle. Once I just sit down and start writing, fatigue, lack of inspiration, and anxiety about what else I need to do melts away.
2. Make writing a habit. I like to set a daily word count for myself and/or a time allotment. This is a habit I try to maintain at least five days a week. I also set monthly and yearly goals for myself that are specific and measurable. Note that when I say “writing,” I mean just that. Writing time is not the same as time on social media, editing, marketing, or other writing-related activity. Writing for me means composing something new, be it a play, a novel, a short story, or even a blog post.
3. Eliminate distractions. Turn off the TV. Shut the office door. Allow the answering machine to take messages. Close your Facebook page. If you choose to write for one hour, let’s say, then give yourself 60 minutes without all the distractions. I’ve even heard some writers say they set a timer. I’ve tried this a few times and it actually works well. When the timer rings, chances are you’ll be inspired enough to continue writing.
Naturally, we all go through seasons of productivity, and that’s okay, too. However, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut of inactivity that has its roots in our own excuses. Don’t do it! Take charge of your own writing life. It’s as easy as one-two-three.