12 Ways to Carve Out Writing Time by Steph Beth Nickel

Sometimes life gets crazy busy. I know. I know. That’s an understatement.

However . . .

If we’re going to actually write (and not just dream about “someday”), we have to carve out some time. Here are a dozen suggestions on how to do so:

  1. Pray about it. As Christians, sometimes we forget that God is interested in every detail of our life, including our writing.
  2. Create a writing corner that beckons. Do you need to be surrounded by books? Have access to your favourite tunes? Feel the sun streaming through the window? You’ll be much more likely to write if you feel drawn to your writing space.
  3. Write it in your planner—in ink. Make an appointment to write—every day, if at all possible—and show up. The words don’t have to be brilliant, but they do have to get onto the page.
  4. Get off Facebook . . . and Twitter and Pinterest. The irony of this suggestion? It came to me while checking Facebook between writing Tips 2 & 3. I am easily distracted. How about you?
  5. Pair up with an accountability partner. Do you know another writer who would like to be more disciplined, more productive? Why not agree to touch base once a week and report on the number of words written or time spent writing?
  6. Add writing exercises to your writers’ group agenda. Women Writing for Christ used to do this every time we got together. You never know when a simple exercise will inspire a book or series of books.
  7. Keep a notebook handy. We’ve all heard it before, but I’ve just recently purchased six teeny tiny composition books to keep track of different writing-related inspiration: blog ideas, words and phrases that grab my attention, books to read, etc.
  8. Actually review the notes you make. I often make note of ideas I want to follow up on—and never look at them again. Not helpful.
  9. Do your research—later. If you pop onto the Internet to check “just one fact,” it is likely you will end up spending a significant amount of time surfing—if you’re anything like me.
  10. Do not read writing books. I don’t mean never of course, but when you schedule writing time, use it for writing.
  11. Give yourself a break. If you didn’t get as much writing done as you would have liked today, this week—or even this month—remember that tomorrow is a new day.
  12. Go hunting for inspiration. While it is important to write during your scheduled writing time, you may need to get away from that nasty blank page in search of inspiration. Take a walk. Have a bubble bath. Head to your local coffee shop and people watch. Do whatever ignites that spark; go home; and WRITE!

What keeps you writing?

2015 Headshot 3Steph Beth Nickel is the coauthor of Paralympian Deborah L. Willows’ memoir, Living Beyond My Circumstances, published by Castle Quay Books. To their delight, LBMC won in the Life Stories category of The Word Awards 2015. Among other things, Steph is a freelance writer and editor. You can connect with her at stephbethnickel@gmail.com … on her Facebook author page … or on Twitter (Photo Credit: Stephen Woo)

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1 comment

  1. Pam Mytroen says:

    Very practical. I need to work on # 2,3, and 4. Thanks Steph!

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