Time Flies — or, Rather, Runs Away

Unless you’re a full-time writer (and very few of us have the honor of holding that title), finding time to write in day-to-day life can be pretty challenging. I have a tendency to overbook myself, then keep myself awake at night thinking of all the things I didn’t have time to do during the day. Finding time to write in all that mess can be next to impossible. But with a few simple tricks, you can make getting that novel onto paper more painless than you would’ve thought possible!

Here are my tips on how to make time in our overbooked lives to write:

  1. Remove distractions. When I start every new writing project, I begin with the same first step: I delete any distractions off my phone. Whether they’re apps, games, social media, or something else, everyone has something on their cellular device that probably takes up more time than we realize. For me, I know they’ll take away precious time that I can’t afford to waste. You don’t have to delete everything — just the things that you can identify as unnecessary. It might also be nice to step out of the technology-based society we’re living in and take a breather you didn’t know you needed.
  2. Be a time-management wizard. Planning is key. Along with my notebook, I keep a planner on me at all times. Some people are fine with using the calendar feature in their phone or computer, but I’m personally a pen-and-paper girl. If you plan everything well, you might have time you didn’t know you have. For example, instead of slowly meandering through your morning while half-heatedly watching the news, put a little pep in your step and make the most of those minutes. Chances are you’ll finish with time to spare — time that can be used to making that concept of a book into a reality.
  3. Don’t be stubborn location-wise. Not all of your writing has to be done on your computer. Now that you’ve deleted distractions off your phone, you’ll probably be wondering what you’re going to do during all that empty time waiting in lines or attempting to pass time. Try writing a bit! It doesn’t have to be a lot, but every sentence can help. If you’re someone who needs to have complete focus and in a quiet environment to write, this doesn’t really apply to you. But for me, I’ve started quite a few scenes in the ‘Notes’ section of my smartphone.
  4. Finally, put writing into your daily schedule. We plan out our days very carefully. If at the end of the day, you realize you haven’t written as much as you would’ve liked, make time! Set aside time for writing in your daily life. Literally! Write ‘writing’ in your schedule. If something comes up, really think if you want to use that time for something else. You’ve made the time for writing — now use it!

The most important thing to remember is not to get overwhelmed. If you’re super busy in school or at work and you really don’t have time to write, don’t stress yourself out about it. You don’t want to make things worse. But be ready so that when you do have the time, you can get those thoughts onto paper!

Always keep swimming — I mean, writing! 🙂

— J. L. Willow

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