Finding Time to Write
You have a great idea for a book. You’ve been thinking about it for a long time, probably years. But you’re too busy with a job, kids, aging parents, volunteer work and life in general. So you put off writing the book. But it is always there, nagging you, begging to be written. If only you had time to write!
For many, writing a book seems like an insurmountable task. So they never even start. That is where the problem is, they are thinking about writing an entire book. Like any large, time-consuming project, to make it happen the task needs to be broken down into doable amounts.
A good way to do this is to set goals – long term, med term and short term goals. These goals should be realistic and time limited. And that will be different for everyone.
A long term goal could be to have a book completed in a certain amount of time. Depending on your circumstances it could be six months, one year or more. I gave myself three years to write my first book. I knew if I made the time too short, I would set myself up for failure.
A midterm goal could be to write a chapter a month (or more or less). In three years I could have a 36 chapter book completed. That sounded doable for me.
Short term goals could be to write for two hours a day, five days a week, that’s only 10 hours a week.
Now how to find those two hours? After all there are only 24 hours in a day and we do need to sleep. Here are a few ideas that have worked for me and other writers I know:
- Give up 2 hours of TV a day
- Write during your lunch break at work
- Get up early and write before the busyness starts
- Write on public transport, on trains and planes or as a passenger in a car. (I wouldn’t advise writing while you are driving the car though)
- Write after everyone is in bed
- Write while waiting for an appointment or for a friend
- Always carry a notepad, just in case
- Cook large amounts on the weekend so you can warm up leftovers for meals during the week saves a lot of time
- Delegate some household chores to children or a spouse. They may not be done to your standards but they will be done!
- Hire a maid (OK, this is not always feasible since writers don’t make much money but we can always dream)
The thought of writing a book doesn’t seem so overwhelming when it is broken down into baby steps. Somebody recently reminded me that writing a book is like eating an elephant, it can be done, one bite at a time.
In three years I had my first book written while working full time, volunteering, and having a busy social life, by using this method. Since then I have written eight books, a number of short stories and articles using this method. I can now write a book in a year but without setting goals, I would have never started the first book and would still be saying, I want to write a book someday.
A goal without a deadline is just a dream!
My latest book, Amanda in New Mexico-Ghosts in the Wind would be a perfect read for Halloween
Amanda Ross is on a school trip to Taos, New Mexico with several of her fellow creative students. Join Amanda, Cleo and their funny friend, Caleb, as they visit an ancient and beautiful landscape where a traditional hacienda, an ancient pueblo, and a haunted and spooky hotel all hold secrets to a wild and violent past. Does Cleo really see ghosts? Can Amanda escape the eerie wind that follows her everywhere? Perhaps the Day of the Dead will reveal the mysteries of Taos in this latest adventure of Amanda’s travels.
New Mexico is indeed an enchanting place, and Darlene Foster brings it to lovely, haunting life in this instalment of Amanda’s adventures. Sixth-grader Amanda is a brave traveller, up for anything, and definitely doesn’t believe in ghosts…but even she starts getting spooked and wondering if she needs to change her mind when she goes on a class trip to Taos and vicinity, with all its Old West locales with turbulent pasts. Delightful armchair travel, as ever from Darlene’s books, as well as enticingly spooky ghost stories–what’s not to like? Molly R.
Brought up on a ranch in Alberta, Canada, Darlene Foster dreamt of writing, travelling the world and meeting interesting people. Following her dreams, she’s now an award-winning author of children’s travel adventure books, short stories and travel articles. She divides her time on the west coast of Canada and on the Costa Blanca of Spain with her husband and entertaining dog, Dot.
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