Making Time to Write

Time to make the donuts! Making time to write

Time to make the donuts!

I’m really scared to write this post about making time to write, because I’m going to share my goals here and if I don’t reach my goal I’m going to feel ashamed and disappointed! People might actually look down on me. They might say “Hey, she failed.

But I also want to be a published novelist and if that happens I’m going to be ready for all kinds of negative comments so why not start building a thick skin now?

My goal is to rise early and write before the rest of the day begins.

During the summer I gave myself a pass on working on my novel every day. I also gave myself a pass on running every day. I was spending more time with the kids, spent more time volunteering, and went on some excellent vacations with my family. I found it very hard to take time away from these moments to refocus my brain on the world of my novel. Maybe I’m just lazy or maybe I was scared I’d miss something in my other world, the one I where I actually live. Whatever it was, I wasn’t making time to write my novel. And it’s time to change things.

School has started now and I’m trying to help my boys build habits and behaviors that will help them be successful. So I’m going to do the same with myself. I need to change some habits to get better at making time to write.

My goal

The first step is to state my goal, or what I want to do.

I want to wake up at 6:15am and be out of bed by 6:30am. I want to have at least half and hour to write before I need to get the family moving on their daily activities. 

It takes about 21 days to form a new habit and nothing happens overnight. So I’m going to work on this in stages. The second step is to state HOW I plan to make my goal happen.

  • Week 1: Go to bed before 11pm. Set alarm for 6:15am. Allow myself to hit snooze a few times. Be out of bed before 7am. If possible, write a sentence in journal.
  • Week 2: Go to bed before 10:45pm. Set alarm for 6:15am. Monitor the time I’m out of bed, aim for 6:30am. Write a minimum of a sentence in journal, aim for paragraph.
  • Week 3: Bed by 10:30pm. Set alarm for 6:15am. Out of bed by 6:30am. Write a paragraph, aim for a page!
  • Week 4: Bed by 10:15pm, earlier if needed. 6:15am alarm. Out of bed and writing by 6:30am. Page minimum even if it’s crap.

Can I keep this up on the weekends? I feel I have to try even if it means I take a nap. If I can do four weeks of this, that’s 28 days and I should be well on my way to making this new habit work for me.

Don’t get me wrong – I get a lot of writing done during the day. But it’s mostly writing for other people and projects. My novel has taken a backseat and I need to change that.

If I can get my novel writing done earlier in the day, perhaps I can increase the time I am able to spend on other writing projects. I can write in the morning, revise after my run. I can finally get this draft submission ready and send it off to my five hand-selected, carefully researched, appropriately targeted agents. Then I can get ready to work on my next project just in time for NaNo!!

This is about thwarting my tendency to procrastinating and prioritize making time to write.

I’m in the beginning of week 1 today, and while I haven’t actually written any sentences in my journal I have been up and out of bed by 6:40am both days. I’m going to count that as success and put my journal next to my bed tonight.

I’ll post updates as I go so you can hold me accountable. You can praise my success or point out where I went wrong. What are the secrets to your success in making time to write?