How do you find the time to write?
A question that is often asked of myself and others who are trying to write who are trying to balance writing and life. I work full-time at a hotel that I very much enjoy. It’s a double edge sword though. I enjoy my job because I am of service to those who come and stay with us. I love engaging with guests and employees. The hotel world has provided me with exactly what I need to maintain and excel in this wonderful creative life. Hotels have given me a plethora of stories to share, guests to write about, and all the adventures I was and continue to be blessed with over the years. I also enjoy not being at the hotel because I want to be writing. My writing/hotel life is a bit comfortably complicated.
How do I make time to write when I am faced with a full-time job? With practice and patience. A lot of practice and patience. My two days off from the hotel life I am writing, and when I say writing, I mean everything that comes with writing. I am working on a new blog to have ready each Monday. I work on social media posts for the week. I am editing my work in progress. I am writing something new because that’s what writers are faced with, many ideas. Even if we have a project we are currently working on, there are other ideas that show up and for me, I can’t ignore the ideas, so I write them down and see where it goes for the moment I am taken away from my current work. This is something I am working on. Maybe jot down the idea and go back to the current work. Sounds simple enough, but sometimes a shiny new toy needs my attention. See, even though I am focused on writing at the moment, I am thinking about other topics to write about.
Two tips to help make time to write.
- Make writing the priority & Be Selfish. That’s right, I give you permission to be selfish. On my days off I am greedy with my time, in a good way. Every morning I write morning pages as soon as I get up. It may be a day off from the hotel life, but it’s not a day off from writing. Morning pages are where I dump everything onto the page that is rolling around in my head. Everything from what we are going to make for dinner that night, why my employees are not following certain procedures, how can I be a better leader, why am I thinking about work on my day off…morning pages help me let go of the self-doubt and negative Nelly that likes to speak up first thing in the morning at times. After the morning pages, I will open my WIP (work in progress) document and start to write. I need to finish this next book by the end of March and I’m a bit behind. Okay, I’m a lot behind and I have to follow my own advice. Make writing the priority. Forget the social media posts or the urge to sit on the sofa and watch another episode of whatever Netflix series I have started to watch. Just get back to the page as soon as possible. Our dreams deserve our attention.
2. Writing sprints and timers. I belong to a writing group, 10-minute novelists, where the concept is to write for ten minutes at a time. Write for ten minutes then vacuum. Write for ten minutes, start the laundry. Write, then put the laundry in the dryer. Write and then get the laundry out of the dryer. This does work for me because I’ve been practicing. It’s all about practicing and finding the balance that works for you because all of our to-do lists are different and we have to know what is a priority for ourselves. Write those important items off your to-do list down and tackle them 10 minutes at a time.
What tips do you have to make time to write? Do you struggle with a full-time job/life that keeps you away from the page? I would love to hear from you.
Until Next Time, Keep on Typing…
Marion Ann Berry is a 10 Minute Novelist who works in the hospitality field and lives in Victoria, British Columbia. This post was originally published on her blog hereand was used with permission.