Carving Out Time to Write

One of the hardest things for new writers to do--especially writers who haven't yet justified their writing with a sale--is to find time to devote to their hobby. I'd like to point out here that only the rare few authors get paid to write their first book. The rest of us have to find odd moments and strange corners in which to slave over the work of our hearts. Even with the most supportive of families, that's often very difficult to do. So, here are a few suggestions

1. Get up ten minutes earlier than usual. Use those minutes to scribble down ideas or work on a troublesome paragraph. Are you a night owl? Turn that around--grab a half an hour after the family's in bed and work.

2. Always carry a pad of paper with you. That turns a wait at the airport, a lunch at your desk at work, or the moments between when you arrive at the soccer field and when the game begins into constructive time.

3. If you can't stand writing by hand, buy an Alphasmart. There's something very satisfying about watching the bits and pieces you've inputted into the keyboard download into your computer.

4. Buy a tape recorder. Okay, you'll be talking to yourself in public, but think about it. Fiction writers get paid to by schizophrenic and talk to people who don't exist.

5. Do good for the environment and your writing career: garage the car and take mass transit to work. The trip will be longer, and you can focus on writing instead of on driving.

And I'll end with:

6. Don't let yourself endless sharpen pencils! Sharpening pencils is what you do when you tell yourself, "I'll get to the computer as soon as I've,"--add your own excuse here: vacuumed the floor, walked the dog, raised the kids, researched one more item, whatever--. Instead, put yourself in the chair, turn on the computer and make your fingers move! A writer writes.


©2004,Christina Skye