Writing a novel isn't a quick exercise. It takes a mountain of time, discipline and perseverance. Consequently, the phenomenon of never having enough time is a common one. Whether you have a single hour to write per day or twelve, this is what inevitably happens:
In the early days of a project, even if it's not easy to make time, your enthusiasm and positivity are enough to keep you going. When you reach the middle, that energy begins to wane. You'll read through your draft of genius and realise how much more work you need to throw into your project. You'll ask yourself, 'How will I ever get it done?' You'll begin to doubt your chances of reaching that end goal. And so enters the first myth:
Myth #1: I don't have enough time to write.
Sure, you may not have a full day of freedom to write, but when you love something, you make time for it--regardless of the surrounding chaos. If interruptions are a problem, then find a writing nook you can close yourself away into. Make sure your family members understand the time you've set aside for writing is important to you and unless it's an emergency you don't want to be disturbed. If noise is a problem, then try music to help you focus. Scheduling in specific writing time is a great way to gain the kind of discipline needed. Achievable goals are another. To allow for unforeseen circumstances, I set myself a weekly writing goal rather than a daily one. What I can't achieve on one day I can make up for on another. Flexibility is key.
Myth #2: I need a large block of time to write.
When your day is full of commitments that can't be ignored, and your schedule falls by the wayside, it's easy to think writing isn't possible. But there are ways around this. You can still write in thirty minutes, ten minutes, or even in snatched seconds (as I did for part of this post). You can carry small notepads around with you during your day, or one of countless high tech devises to record your words. If you are out and about, you can still write.
Myth #3: I have to be in the right mood to write.
Mood is not a prerequisite for writing and neither is inspiration. Allowing mood to sway your decision to write will only hold you back. This is why schedules work for me. I give myself a set time to write and, regardless of mood, inspiration or anything else, I write.
Myth #4: Other commitments are more important than my writing.
Women in particular have a knack for putting themselves last in their list of priorities, especially when they have a family to look after. If writing is more important to you than just a little side hobby, then you should treat it better than you would such a hobby. It's a matter of priority.
Don't make excuses. If you are struggling to find the time to write, then do something about it. Prioritize your day and make a schedule which includes some writing time. Make sure your loved ones understand how important writing is to you and ask for their support. And don't wait for your muse--just write.
How do you find the time to write?
1. The Fourth Writers' Platform-Building Campaign has begun. Head on over to check it out and sign up for the fun. It's a fantastic way to meet new friends.
2. One of my posts was picked up by the Everything Author website. The article is on the advantages of writing a fast first draft. Feel free to check it out.