7 Tips for Making Time to Write



by Kelsie Engen


Is there not enough time in the day to write? Or do you simply not know how to make the time?

It’s hard to believe, but it’s already time to discuss our writing insecurities again. And what’s worse, this Wednesday is already a week into the month! (How does time go by so quickly?)

This month the IWSG question is:

How do you find the time to write in your busy day?

I’ve always been a highly self-motivated person–when it matters. And writing happens to matter immensely to me.

But even the most prolific of authors can have trouble fitting writing into some days. I don’t know about you, but not writing enough is definitely one of my insecurities. Whatever I do, I feel like I don’t do enough. And whatever I do, there is always more to do. Here are some tips and tricks I’ve found useful over my past writing years, and I hope they’ll be useful to you too.


  1. BE WILLING TO SACRIFICE.Unless you’re one of those rare people blessed with excess time on your hands, making time in your day to write requires that you remove something else from your schedule. So take an honest look at your schedule and start listing your priorities.
  2. MAKE GOALS.I am a goal-oriented person. I like making daily, weekly, and monthly goals. (I’m not so good on the yearly ones, but I’m working on it.) Write these goals down–be deliberate about them. And then plan your time accordingly. I find that if I know I have a goal of getting one chapter edited (or written) that week, I’m much more likely to make the time to sit down and edit/write it.
  3. MAKE IT EXCITING.If you aren’t excited about what you write, you aren’t going to want to sit down and write. So write what you’re excited about. If you aren’t excited, make it exciting. You’re bound to make the time then, stealing a few minutes here and there if you can’t find a chunk of time.
  4. GET UP EARLY/STAY UP LATE.Sometimes it takes both to get the words written. Commitments can pop up all day long, making it difficult to squeeze in time during the main hours of the day, so when you know you have a busy day ahead, wake up a half hour early and write for as long as you can before anything else starts. If you find yourself too distracted by the Internet, try writing longhand, or else downloading an Internet blocker like RescueTime.
  5. STAY INSPIRED.Do walks through the park whip yourself into a furor to write? Or is reading a great book? Or a horrible book? What about stockpiling writing prompts or inspiring images? Find a method of inspiration and do those things on a regular basis. Plan them into your day to prep yourself for the opportunities to write.
  6. MULTITASK…WHEN YOU CAN.Do the dishes as you make the kids breakfast so when you have a moment to sit down, you don’t have a messy kitchen distracting you. Better yet, plan ahead for breakfast and meals and use your prep time to daydream about your WIP or to listen to an audiobook. If you’re really talented, you can dictate your book as you prep.
  7. KEEP A JOURNAL HANDY.Find some way to write your thoughts down when you have a brain wave. (Just my luck these usually happen to me while I’m speeding down the highway, so I speak them to myself in Evernote.) But if you aren’t driving, use Evernote or your phone’s notepad feature to jot a note, or else bring a small journal with you where you can write your thoughts down in when they occur–something you won’t lose, so not the back of a receipt. If you always have a way to write handy, utilizing iPhone apps Ulysses, Storyist, or Scrivener, or any other of the myriad writing apps available today.
  8. (BONUS) WRITE OR DIE.Okay, this is a touch metaphorical, but besides the awesome website you can use to pump out words when you’re limited on time but have Internet access, you must make writing matter to you, make it about life or death–for you as well as your characters. If you do, then you’ll find numbers 1-7 easy.

Your turn! How do you make time to write?





Guest post contributed by Kelsie Engen. Kelsie loves to read and started her blog to share that passion with others of like mind.

31 thoughts on “7 Tips for Making Time to Write

  1. Reblogged this on Pearls Before Swine and commented:
    Great tips on making time to write.

    Yesterday, even though I was tuned into the blog, I didn’t do much of anything outside of revise my novel! I’m excited at how the true story is unfolding (the one you don’t usually see under the first draft) and felt really accomplished afterward. I was busy, sure, and there were a million and one things to do but I made time.

    The point: The greatest investment you can make with your writing is not money, it is time.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on Michael Seidel, writer and commented:
    Besides these intelligent tips, my #1 difference was deciding that I needed to make writing a high priority. I began treating it as a very important part of my day, and I told others that I couldn’t do things because I needed to write. Then, they became supportive and helped me stick to my schedule.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is valuable set for those who are setting out to do some serious writing.
    Although now fully retired I have a very untidy mind (and ever more shall be so). However I’ve found being on WP interacting with other bloggers, picking up tips from other writers and getting feedback on my own projects is giving me the momentum to give a more structured approach to my writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When I first started writing, I just wrote–my mind was probably very untidy too! Since then, I’ve practiced writing organization, so I know it can be done…but it’s certainly a lot of work! One thing I’ve learned is that everyone works differently when it comes to the writing process. I’m glad you’re not afraid to try new things, and I hope you’ll find a unique process all of your own you can share with others too!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks.
        I’m getting there. I’m experimenting with publishing my current fantasy project ‘The Patchwork Warriors’ as a series of episodes, and inviting readers to pitch in with critiques, or enquiries as the project progresses.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Reblogged this on Archer's Aim and commented:
    They are good tips to make time. I use some of these but others I’ll work on more than I do. I do agree with get up early. The regular tasks and distractions of the day have a way of eroding your creativity unless you find ways to block it out.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Little ones are very busy but it gets better over time but you do have to manage time and energy around them to be productive. Mine just went to college but I do miss that toddler sometimes!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Your tips are great. Finding time to write is difficult when you lead a busy life. For instance, at this moment I should be preparing dinner. However, the football game is on and I know my husband doesn’t care what else happens around here until the game is over. I am fortunate enough to be able to watch and write. Writing often comes to me late night and once I start I’m committed to seeing it through to the end. I know I should set a time to write but it just doesn’t work for me that way. I write about life, daily life, mostly mine and those around me. So when a memory comes, so does the writing. I keep a notebook handy to jot things down during my busy day so that a can go back to it after my day is done. I think the notebook is the only good, OH WOW…ANOTHER TOUCHDOWN FOR OUR TEAM…SCORE SEAHAWKS 27 BUFFALO BILLS 17….WOO HOO….. oh, yes, I was saying, the notebook is the only good habit I have developed. I hadn’t planned to write today, I planned to catch up on some reading during the game but I found your post too interesting to pass on a comment. Thanks for this one, I hope it’s okay to mention your post in an upcoming post of mine. You have inspired me.

    Liked by 1 person

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