"I want to write, but I don't have the time. I'm too busy."
Does that sound familiar? Finding the time to write is a challenge faced by many authors, both aspiring and experienced, and it is a difficult one to overcome. But finding the time to work on a manuscript can bring great rewards.
We all write for different reasons; some of us write just for fun, others want to make a career out of being an author, and some write just to escape from the stresses of the world. Regardless of why you want to write a book, there are some simple steps that you can take to help you juggle work, family and other commitments that might be eating into your writing time.
Each author will have their ideal ‘writing time’ where their brain is at its peak creativity. It can be early in the morning or in the middle of the night, and discovering yours is an important step in balancing writing with everything else going on in your life. Experiment with just half an hour at different times each day and see how it goes. If you struggle to get the words out, don’t force them; they will return in time.
Writing doesn’t always involved sitting in front of a laptop slaving away over Microsoft Word. Even in today’s era of technology, the trusty notepad and pen still hold great power and they can be two of the best tools you can have at your disposal. Ideas arrive at the most unexpected times, even working in the office, so getting them down on paper the instant they appear will give you an advantage when it comes to actually writing your manuscript. Have a notepad to hand that is dedicated solely to your writing plans, and personalise it with inspirational quotes or tips from authors – anything that will give you that all-important motivation – and revisit before you sit down to write.
Short stories can be an ideal way of starting your writing journey if you are pushed for time. Though they can often be more challenging than writing a full-length novel, short stories can allow you to find your style and voice, and in some cases, they can be brought together into a longer manuscript. In addition, short stories can act as a stepping stone; once you feel confident with the way you write, your genre, and discovering your optimum writing time, try setting yourself a target of writing a short story within a couple of months. The results might just surprise you!
There are so many other ways that you can find time to write amongst the hectic pressures of the 21st century, and opportunities are always around you. Even your commute can open a writing window, and can help you prepare for the working day ahead. There is never a wrong time to write, but there is a right time. You just have to find it!