6 Writing Tips for the Time-Crunched Writer

We all seem to be living in a faced-paced, get-it-done yesterday world. Even with the help of smart phones, computers, and a learned proficiency in multi-tasking, many of us still have unticked tasks on our to-do lists.

Existing in a culture that is moving at a dizzying speed can make even the most productive person feel a bit inefficient. A career, kids to raise, a home to keep and perhaps a smattering of a social life keeps must of us spinning in circles—hurried and harried.

In response to this epidemic of stressed-out, time-crunched worriers, most of us have heard the familiar mantra, “time management.” What happens, however, when you have little time to manage for what you need to do?

Here’s the simple answer—prioritize. You can always find time for what is important.

It’s a common complaint of the writer. Many of us are unable to devote a full day to writing for various reasons, the need for a day job predominant among them. Add in a couple of children, a household, and a few other responsibilities and it seems as though there is absolutely no time in a day to write.

Not true.

My commiserations aside there are 6 tips to help you find a spare moment here and there to pen your masterpiece.

1.    Make Time: I know. I know. Making time is the problem. It isn’t, though, once you decide that your writing time is worth it. After all, you make time to eat and sleep. It’s all about priorities. I’m not suggesting that you cut out eating or sleeping, but you could cut out searching for some schadenfreude on Facebook.

2.    Choose the Right Time: Part of making time is choosing which part of the day is most productive and least likely to be overtaken by other tasks. Perhaps it’s the morning before the rest of the world can interrupt you. Or maybe it’s after everyone has gone to bed and you have no distractions.

3.    Make a Commitment: Once you have chosen a time, stick to it and demand that others respect it. Place the same value on this time as you do your time to eat, shower, and sleep. It’s a nonnegotiable part of your day.

4.    Don’t Worry About How Much Time: Write for as long as you can commit. It doesn’t have to be two hours or even thirty minutes. It can literally be fifteen minutes a day. What is important is that you are writing. Think of it this way–if you write only 300 words a day, you will have a novel written in one year.

5.    Write even When You Aren’t Writing: Writing is a creative process that doesn’t always need to occur just at the moment your fingertips are pressed against the keyboard. Think, muse, daydream. The great thing about these times is that can occur anywhere, anytime. So, put your multi-tasking skills to work and untangle your plot line while folding the laundry.

6.    Write and Write, then Write: When you do carve out and commit to your time to write—go with your gut. Don’t over think; it wastes time. Allow your ideas to flow freely. After all, your instinct is what usually yields the best work. And remember, you can always edit later when you find the time. Or when you make it!

Thank you for reading. I look forward to your comments.





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About Sherry Parnell