“If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”
― Toni Morrison

How to Find Time to Write

As much as I’m eager for the arrival of spring—with its longer days and warmer temperatures—the jump forward due to Daylight Saving Time this weekend means we lost an hour of time.

These days, every minute seems precious. With so many commitments, activities, and demands on our time, it’s difficult to carve out a small window for doing what we love. (And sometimes when that time pops up, we may not be in the mood to write—because let’s be honest, writing isn’t always easy!).

How can we find time to write? And how do we make the most of that time?

red clock

Photo by Alex

Counting the Minutes

To find more time to write, first know that it takes some trial and error. Everyone works a little bit differently, so the method that best fits into your lifestyle or meshes with your personality is probably much different than another person’s. Give one or more of these a try and see what happens:

1. Schedule it.

For those who live and die by their calendars, block off time to write. Of course, when something else comes up, it’s all too easy to cancel or move that writing “appointment,” so this technique requires an attitude adjustment too—you have to prioritize this time like you would any other important meeting, deadline, or special occasion. Play with setting aside the same timeframe each week, so you’ll find it easier to remember and work around it. Or look for a time when other people don’t usually schedule things, such as early morning or late at night.

2. Give something up.

As busy as life is, we all spend some time doing a whole lot of nothing. Whether we’re wasting time on social media or TV, there are portions of our days when we could be more productive. Sure, downtime to relax and recoup is a vital part of life, but too much of it becomes a time-suck. Look at how you can swap out activities and limit your time-wasting ways so you have a chance to write instead.

3. Make space.

Consider creating a ritual or a dedicated space for your writing. While it doesn’t have anything to do with your calendar or appointment book, associating a special place or treat with writing motivates you to make it a priority. It could be as simple as sitting down with a cup of coffee or clearing out a corner of the dining room table, but that small action may be just the inspiration you need to write more often.

4. Time yourself.

When free time is rare, use it wisely. If you find yourself with a few minutes to spare, set a timer and write as much as you can. The tick-tock of the clock provides extra motivation so you don’t waste a second. Or use this trick to boost your productivity in general. Give yourself a specific amount of time to get something else done quickly in order to use the leftover minutes to write—instead of taking 30 minutes to clean, allow yourself 15 minutes and then use the additional 15 to write.

How do you find time to write?

PRACTICE

Write for fifteen minutes. If you can’t seem to find time to fit this practice into your day, try one of the techniques above (and let us know how it goes!).

When you’re finished, please share your practice in the comments section. And if you post, please respond to some of the other comments too.

About Melissa Tydell

Melissa Tydell is a freelance writer, content consultant, and blogger who enjoys sharing her love of the written word with others. You can connect with Melissa through her website, blog, or Twitter.

  • Mirelba

    How do I find time to write? I sleep less…

    Actually, I find it really hard to give up the things I love, so rather than cut down on time with my family and other obligations, I tend to sit down at the end of the day and work once the phones fall silent, and the house goes to bed. I sleep more on weekends, when I don’t write.

    I’ve also cut down on time that I used to spend playing games and reading blogs/websites, even this one, which is my favorite.

    • I honestly don’t know where I find the time either. I think making a space has helped a lot, but other than that I’m not sure how I manage it.

  • kathunsworth

    Early morning rise at 5am BUT sometimes checking email sucks the time. Great tips to be remind me what i really want to do. Thanks Joe

    • Thanks! This one was all Melissa though. 🙂

      I hate when I get into an email rut instead of doing my writing. I hope you can find ways to isolate yourself and focus on the writing.

  • Li

    This is a lengthy beginning, rough draft, maybe just brainstorming. It took 35 minutes to write and it was fun. There are plenty of mistakes and things I’d like to improve or omitt. Non the less I feel compelled to put it out there for the sake of participating, which Im trying to make consistent.

    Once there was a prince so fair and light that his mother sent him away to the great scales to be weighted. This boy child was so delightful, and smelled so richly of citrus and cedar that all who approached him swore it was spring. He laughed like bubbles and flew like steam rising. It was hard to keep hold of him. His charm of effervescence was strange and bewildering. His mother saw her own likeness I him and in fear she tied him to a brick just outside the scales.
    The scales was a place where things were weighted and valued. For all her flying his mother should have known better but instead of trying to change the world she sent him strait to the lions mouth. The fortress of scales was really such a wonder that you might think he was lucky for being cast there. The walls were made of colorful glass and extended far into the sky. In the glass there were stories so old no one knew how to read them, but all marveled at their artistry. An artist could be paid a good wage at one time for thier depictions in the scales, but being an artist in these times were hard. Non the less the stories were interpreted and even designed by artists among our ancestors and they are the keepers of our faith. They are the only ones, save the children without weight, who truly understand the depictions.
    And so when this prince was coddled and fed the milk of lambs and deer he also wondered at the stories in the hall. He spoke of them in his baby voice and the elders, the devout keepers of the scales adored him and praised gravity that this jovial little babe might fall to earth. They were so pleased with his babbling that they laughed as if for the first time. They did not know that their joy was less understood and sprung from the truth in his dialect, they could not understand. But in his tone they sensed in wonder what joy could be reaped.
    The boy learned to carry bricks on his back yet he grew straight and ever stronger than the other stray boys. But he was kinder having been held so pleasurably and smiled upon for his beauty and he managed to hold onto some bit of wisdom from his babyhood about the stories in glass. Therefore when the other boys chided him or worse, he would not fight back. He wasn’t sure he could. His arms were good for many things but he doubted they could win a fight.
    There were no mirrors within the scales aside from spoons, and bath water, and the rare reflection one might find on a very sunny day in the walls of glass. For this reason and because the boy had no base for comparison aside from the strays he lived among, he never knew himself to be so fair.
    There were times when the boy would tell an elder about the walls or ask a question. The truth was so close to him. He swam in the endless stories of lushness and virtue.but the elders found fault with his tales every time and even they were prone to give a lashing for,blasphemy.
    So the boy became a story teller and in this way he delighted those around him instead of attracting blows. He was captivating. And age only improved him.
    Each week he was weighed and the elders could find no fault. The boys feet were rightly fastened to the ground. What they did not know was just as he had satisfied his right to tell tales, he also became genius at being heavy. He studied his peers and came to know their weight in body and mind. Of course they overlooked his lightness during basketball and dance but on the day of scales he must prove to have both feet on the ground or he would wear the cloak of majesty. It was odd looking and dark. It was hell to carry and made moving slow. It gave him a feeling of always sinking.
    When he came of age to leave the scales and attend to societal chores like fetching milk and bricks he was expected to don this cloak. All the boys from the scales wore them. It was to slow the, down and in effect make them steady thinkers, always apt to make the better choice lets say between bread and sugar. The latter they could not have because mothers of that day thought it righteous for a child to be raised without sugar and so to seem of high moral character the boys were forbidden to eat sugar. They abstained from all kinds of good things to eat like eclairs, chocolates and mint ice cream. Since these boys were raised among men they thought it best to tell the boys only of the deadliness of the drug. However one day while out for bread Paul looked up from his pocket to see a beautiful mouth red and full of white teeth devouring an eclair freshly baked by a small troll who was her keeper. A girl like her would have been sent to the scales except girls were not allowed so their fate depended on trolls if not their parents and it was almost always an unhappy fate. On this day he saw not only her scarlet lips for the first time but a mash of creamy chocolate coated top and bottom of one side of her lips and she was licking pale yellow cream from her first two fingers sneakily before her master could spy her thievery for though she sold his parties each day in the desert heat she was forbidden to eat any herself. This was not because he believed sugar was bad for her spirit but because she was his property and sugar came at a high price. He didn’t give a damn about rotten teeth

    • plumjoppa

      This has a delightful airy feel to it! I can’t wait to hear more about this world, which seems so strange, but also correlates to our own.

    • Sarah E. Jones

      Wow, lots of amazing sensory elements to this practice piece. Such a neat world you’re creating.

  • Being the way I am about writing, ferociously passionate, finding the time has never been my issue. Learning where to stop, focusing on a specfic topic, knowing when to say enough is enough, now that’s my problem. That being the case, I thought I would add a different angle to this discussion. Hope that’s ok? One example I would suggest – look for something that happens to most of us almost every day, a simple question from a friend, relative or collegue. I recently had a friend ask me, “how do you make your relationship work?” After I thought about it and she and I talked about it, I went home and began constructing what will eventually become an article. It doesn’t have to be something as serious as that. Another question could be as simple and silly as, “why do you have so many caps?” Use these everyday moments to practice our craft. Write in detail the joy you find in headwear! :o) in doing this you will make the time to write. Hope you find this of some value. Write On!

    • Sarah E. Jones

      Thanks for the inspiration. I’ll keep my eye out this week.

  • It is so hard for me to schedule a time to write! I’m sure that it would revolutionize my writing, but it’s such a challenge. Today I sneaked in 15 minutes while my mom was on the phone before we had to leave to town. Here is my practice:

    The first time I saw her I got the impression of a good witch. Her fuzzy white ringlets of hair came just below my nose, almost hiding the rest of her, and I might have ignored her if someone hadn’t made the introductions. Then I tried not to stare.

    A wrinkled woman with a strangely cone-shaped head that tilted up in the back (or perhaps her curls were just piled that high, it was hard to tell), her face was pleasantly wrinkled and very pale, with bright blue eyes and a thin pink mouth. Maybe it was her nose that made me think of a witch. It was a perfect hook, unlike any I’d ever seen on a real person. But she had to be a good witch. There was no menace in her, just kindliness. She dressed in rather flamboyant colors, and lots of turquoise. There was a squash blossom necklace hanging on her bosom, great chunks of blue-green stone and bold silver in designs that I was sure she could explain to me in detail.

    I got the impression that this was a woman who knew herself. She was thoroughly capable, “on top of things,” friendly, even interested in my dull history. But I couldn’t help sneaking glances at her throughout the entire luncheon. The impression of the good witch was so strange that I thought I might look at her a third or fourth time and she would just be an average old lady with shellacked nails and quavering voice. No one else seemed to notice how different she was. Maybe I was imagining things. But the impression stuck.

    How was I to know that she was going to die of a heart attack the next day? Should I have guessed? Perhaps her white hand fluttering over that squash blossom was a sign. Perhaps there was a quaver in her voice, a stiffness of movement–but I forgot about her almost as soon as I read the email. There was a memorial service at the next meeting with a candle and everything, and that was the end of the good witch.

    Until I walked into the Wassapequa community library and looked straight ahead into the children’s book section. There a little old woman sat reading aloud to an entranced half-moon of faces, and the first thing I noticed was the squash blossom necklace on her bright pink shirt. Next I noticed the nose.

    • Very good! I’m curious to know more.

    • plumjoppa

      I love where this is going! A small child once called my elderly mother a witch, which she didn’t find flattering, but you’ve made it into something intriguing. I really need new contacts as I originally read “squash blossom” as “squash bottom” so I was picturing a comical derriere through the first read. Your descriptions are so vivid, and yet you keep the story moving.

      • Ha! That’s a hilarious misinterpretation. Thanks so much for the comment 🙂

    • Vivid personality description through all those details. 🙂

  • J Murf

    I’ve found http://750words.com helpful. (And yet it’s still much to easy to cancel that writing date because I know it will never take me less than 20 minutes to write my 750 words.)

    • Sarah E. Jones

      Cool, thanks for sharing. I agree with you, 750 in twenty would be a challenge for me too.

    • Thank you.

  • Here’s my practice:
    I can’t believe it’s come down to this. How in the world, I ask myself, is this where I’m at? Dad’s offering me a great opportunity. It’s not every day you find out that your dad is a rock star, and that he thinks you have great talent. All I was doing was writing Elizabeth’s song. Just letting the melody of my heart play its own song, because Elizabeth deserved that. Elizabeth deserves so much just because she’s Elizabeth. She certainly doesn’t deserve me promising her forever and leaving her just because Dad is offering me at chance at my dream. My dream, or Elizabeth.

    I run a hand through my hair, angry at myself for even considering this. I can’t just leave Elizabeth. It would be a betrayal of everything we have. Of all the promises I’ve made, spoken and unspoken. Could I ask her to wait for me? I stand up and pace I the small confines of my tiny bedroom. Impossible, I think. Not that I doubt that Elizabeth would wait for me. But could I ask her to do that? To accept that I’m leaving for months, or longer and that she wait here, alone, for me to come back? I can’t do that, not when I promised I was staying.

    So many promises, spoken and unspoken. Can I break them to realize a dream that’s only barely formed in my heart? What do you want Kayden Moore? I ask myself. I still my pacing, close my eyes. Elizabeth’s face comes unbidden to mind, because I’ll always want Elizabeth. But a longing from deep with in me is sounding now, is lifting up it’s voice to my conscious mind, speaking out loud for first time and my heart stutters and stops just before it breaks.

    I know what I have to do. But Elizabeth…oh, God, Elizabeth.

    • What a tough decision. I have to admit, I would have done the same thing (there was a time when music was very important to me.)

      • I’m glad it’s a piece people can relate to 🙂 Thanks!

    • That’s a choice I can imagine he might regret….fame is such a fickle thing. Nice heart-rending practice!

      • Indeed, I think he will 😉 Thanks Kate, I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  • I find that if I continuously do things I love, I will continuously make progress. Do everything I love, all the time. Never stop. Carpe diem. Never stop. LOL

    • Do you manage doing everything you love all the time?

  • Sarah E. Jones

    Write by Beverage

    It was 9:16 AM, and despite your de Vil deployment of getting the kids off to school, everyone was safely where they should be at this hour. However, thanks to Daylight Savings, your cup of creme brulee still needed brewing. Sloughing off the oversize jacket you’ve used to conceal your plaid pajamas from the other mothers in the car drop off lane, you shuffle into the kitchen.

    Dirty breakfast dishes dot the countertops like evidence in a crime scene. You do a bit of psychological profiling; Josh has covered his uneaten toast with a paper napkin, Sean eaten the middle out of his toast, but his eggs are untouched, and Nate’s stacked his empty OJ cup in the middle of a plate he has likely licked clean with his tongue.

    You will not touch the dishes.

    You will make your coffee, and then head directly upstairs to sit in front of an glaringly white Word document until characters begin to converse with one another, and that tete a tete translates into a speckled Word document.

    You will not even look at the dishes.

    While the Keurig whispers, you stand with your back to the breakfast barrage, picketing all things that are not defined in Webster’s as “coffee” or “writing,” When the brew finishes, you grab the hot mug, duck your head to your chest, and make like a dirty politician to your office.

    Narrow is the gate, you think. Be armed for dinner. At lunch, wash out the wine glass you used yesterday.

    • Oh my! “Narrow is the gate…” The last few words of that phrase tend to rock my world.

    • I *love* how you reiterated ignoring the dishes. And how you said “everything not defined as coffee or writing.” I hope you got to dirty that blank white document.

    • You made me laugh. Nice job.

    • Love this! I do a similar thing…well my house is such a mess most of the time anyway, and even if I do clean up, as soon as everyone gets home its a mess again, so I think why bother? Writing is more productive…

    • I like the tone of this, it’s humourous but very serious as well.

  • Required writing. Required writing works with or without the muse. Required writing works around the fear and through the judge. Required writing puts creativity in a pressure cooker which can and in the case of natures creativity does produce diamonds.

    Deadlines are life savers. Deadlines offer the structure that moves us toward our goal. Required writing and the Deadline we rebel against are the task masters we seem to require to get where we want to go — a page of words, a book — to have written.

    Problem. There is no required writing here. There are no deadlines. Like Mission Impossible you choose or choose not to enter into the “practice.” That practice begins simply, ” Write for fifteen minutes.” We either exercise our will and do it or we exercise our will and refuse to practice. Painfully simple.

    When we argue, it is ourselves we argue with. When we rebel, it is against what we believe to be our own best interest that we push against. The excuses we offer only further separates us from our desired goal.

    What my writing is and is going to be is up to me. Hold my hand if you will, but finally and eventuality it is mine to do.

    To write or not to write? I am alone with that question. I alone can produce the answer.

    So, there. That’s my fifteen minutes. Now I can go play.

    • Sarah E. Jones

      Required writing and deadlines are really good suggestions. I’ve had lots of success with both, not so much on my own, but definitely with another writer. Accountability is usually very helpful for me.

      • It is amazing when we are in a context of accountability how productive we can be.

    • Eyrline Morgan

      Very good! I remember my college writing class where the tests were to write for so many minutes on a subject given to you in class. Like you, I don’t have a schedule,yet. But when I did, somehow things were finished. I write about the things I like, what’s going on in my life, short stories, non-fiction essays and whatever my muse is telling me that day. I enjoyed your post. Eyrline

    • Very insightful! I feel the same way sometimes. “Now I can go play.”

    • I can hear your mum there – “You’ve done your chores, now you can go play”, hehe. My writing is often ‘playing’ for me. Maybe because I am not relying on it to provide for my family.

  • Jessica

    I have been putting off starting my children’s book. I’ve written a handful of short stories, but my mentor told me it’s time to expand to a book. I have the basic chapter outlines written, it’s just so much more fun to think, I have the beginnings of a book, rather than, I have to write my book.

    I read today’s challenge, and realized that I need to take 15 minutes right now (because I really don’t have anything better to do) and write as much of the first chapter that I can. Sometimes it is overwhelming, but I can definitely do 15 minutes. I only got 3 or 4 paragraphs, but at least I started!

    • Good job 🙂

    • Yes! The start of any journey is always the first step

    • It is only a few “degrees” between finding the time….taking the time….or thinking ..ok I GET to do this. Then it will flow. Also carry pen and paper on you as you do whatever you do take a moment and write it or voice record as you go through your day.

  • Eyrline Morgan

    How to find time to write: get up an hour earlier (it takes 45 minutes to drink coffee and awaken fully)’ take a tablet with me when I take Prissy out, while she is finding just the right spot in the yard; don’t answer as many emails– but that is writing.

    As we are beginning to get ready to move from a 3 bed, dining room, kitchen, music room, two bath house into a one bedroom apartment or assisted living, much time is spent now with colored dots. Red means we keep it; yellow means we donate it; green means it stays in the house for an estate sale. When we find the apartment, we’ll just move the things with the red dot. We tried down sizing once before. When we were married, we both had a room full of bookcases with organ and piano music packed therein. Did I mention I’m an organist and I married an organist? He has a 5’7″Baldwin grand piano, I have a 52″ upright Kawai and a huge Wurlitzer organ. Only one of these gets to go. As a former antique dealer, I still have a lot of stuff left from the shop. Some is great, like Frankoma Pottery, Capo da Monte Urns, lots of figurines, salt and pepper shakers, depression glass, crystal, etc. How can I leave these behind? But we will only have space for us, a couch, TV, Music System, one piano, and did I mention the music? There must be thousands of dollars worth of organ music. When I lived in Chickasha, OK, a music store closed and GAVE me ALL the sheet music. We will take only what I use for church and what I want to learn, and what Keith can’t leave. Then there are the 33’s. Both of us had extensive collections. They fill four large bookcases. Some will go with us, and the ones we like to play we’ll dub to a CD. There’s the bell. I was getting tired thinking of all the work ahead of us.

    • Good luck! It must have been tough choosing what to part with.

      • Eyrline Morgan

        You’re right. We are both “collectors.” We have things that haven’t been seen in 20 years, except to pack and unpack. We’ve devised a plan: 2 bookcases go, so we’ll only take the number of books and records to fill those shelves. As for music, we have two music cabinets, which will be our limit there. That’s as far as we’ve gone, except to call some apartments and buy some colored circles to use in coding what to keep, donate or sell. Thanks for your answer.

    • I love reading people who appreciate their lives. You and Keith clearly do. Is there any Black Gospel music in that stack of 33’s? A friend of mine at Baylor University is doing a history of Black Gospel. He continues to research for the project. The 1st Vol. will be published by the University of Penn. Press 2014.
      Parting with books would be a tough assignment. They are like close friends.

      • Eyrline Morgan

        We probably have some Black Gospel in our stack of 33’s. We’re going to catalogue them as we go along to get like things together. We’re taking baby steps. I have a list of things to do so we can check off things as we do them. That’s a “feel good” thing — to be able to check something off a list when it is finished. Thanks for your comments.

  • At nine o’clock in the evening Calvin kissed his wife Audrey on the forehead, not on the mouth. Her skin felt hot on his lips.

    “You’ll feel better in the morning, sweetie.”

    “I love you, Calvin,” she said with closed eyes.

    “I love you too.” He clicked off the bedside lamp and took her empty glass. As he closed the bedroom door he reminded her to holler if she needed anything and he’d be in soon. He sat on the couch and lifted a blind to look outside. The car would drive by soon.

    Every night around that time a black Lincoln would creep down the street and slow down as it passed his house while he watched through a slit in the blinds. He didn’t know who it was or why they did it but the past three nights the car came through right on schedule.

    Shortly after peering outside, right on time, two streaks of light spread out on the pavement. The car slowed and he saw an orange orb appear on the body of the car near the hood and it moved along the glossy paint. He recognized it as his porch light and it always made its way from the front of the car to the trunk before disappearing. This time the orb stopped right in the middle.

    The back window rolled down. A dark slit opened up and a hand with a gun poked out. Three loud shots in rapid succession echoed out into the night and Calvin winced. Pop! Pop! Pop! The bay window in front of his face shattered and he tumbled onto the floor, covering his face. Beyond the ringing in his ears he heard tires screeching on the pavement and a motor revving, revving, revving and then it was gone.

    “Shit!” Lying on the carpet he reached into his empty pocket looking for his phone. He stuck his trembling hand into his other empty pocket. Scrambling to his feet and rushing to the door to check his car, he stopped and decided not to go outside. He pounded one fist on the door. “Shit!”

    “Looking for this?” He turned to see Audrey leaning in the hallway. She held his phone in her hand.

    “Did you–honey! Call the police!”

    Her lips stretched to reveal her teeth and she shook her head side to side with a calm that tightened Calvin’s stomach muscles. She raised his phone into the air and slammed it on the floor. He watched it shatter, dumbstruck.

    “Audrey! What the hell are you doing!” She leaned against the wall again and drew a pistol from her nightgown. Calvin’s mouth dropped open, he found himself speechless, and he fumbled with the deadbolt. He’d take his chances going outside after all.

    Audrey pulled the trigger three times and every bullet stuck in her husband–two in the torso and one in the head. Crimson splattered the wall near the front door and he fell to the floor. She drew her own phone from her bra, dialed a number, and put it to her ear.

    “Yes, he is. What do we do now?”

    • Oh my goodness!!!!!!! I had no idea all that was going to happen!! Great thriller writing…I’d love to know what it was all about!

    • I read this late last night, and it’s just as exciting this morning! It feels like it’s part of a larger piece. But if not, I think you have the beginning of a thriller.

  • Debbie

    Finding time to write is no problem. I have this fool-proof method that I use all the time. All you have to do is get rid of all those nasty distractions. For example, find … Hold on.

    What? Your blue shirt is in the closet. Yes. No. I’ll get it for you. (I’ll be right back.)

    OK. Where were we. Oh yeah. Finding time to write. Find yourself a good … Sorry again.

    Dinner isn’t ready yet. You’re hungry? Get a small snack, but nothing that will spoil your appetite.

    Back again. Ok. Tip one is to find yourself a …

    Who’s on the phone? No. I don’t have soccer carpool today. I think it’s Danny’s mom’s turn today.

    Oh good. You haven’t left yet. So …

    TURN DOWN THE TV IN THERE!

    Here it is:

    Find yourself a good babysitter, a cook, housekeeper, maid, secretary, chauffeur and possibly a date for your spouse. Get a pen and paper. Put your electronic devices in your underwear drawer. Get into your car, find a nice hotel room, order room service and start writing.

    • Yeah, that made me laugh!!! Thankfully my job involves me working nights and weekends, and so I have days off in the week when NO-BODY ELSE IS HERE…that’s when I write. Because otherwise it is impossible.

    • Hysterical! “A date for your spouse” was the icing on the cake in this piece I think. I would also include, if your mother calls, don’t answer the phone.

  • I write in the evenings after the kids are in bed, and on my one day off a week, all day.

  • These are great tips. I struggle the most with creating a space to write. I end up writing propped up on my bed most times, which is more temptation than I can usually handle. With the responsibility of homeschooling two kids, church work, starting up a non-profit, and marketing an online class I often feel like I’m burning the candle at both ends. When I sit down to write in my bedroom I generally find myself dozing off! I love writing in a coffee shop best, the noise is pleasant but not distracting, the energy is nice, and I don’t typically nod off!

  • One thing I try to do is carry something to write on and with at all times – that way I can simply do it.

  • Great points, I have found after blogging for several years that I have to give up something each time I write. It might be sleep, relaxing time, or time connecting with people online. However, it’s always worth the time and effort to write and publish my work.

  • Denice Sharpe

    Timed writing practice, it adds a bit of excitement to the writing, and allows you to just follow your mind into a space that you might have expected or had no idea at all where you were going. I’ve left my writing unattended for years now with the exception of journaling off and on and it is evident in my choppy thoughts and block of anything very important to say. I second and third guess my writing nature and wonder if I’ve left it alone too long and it no longer will serve my desire to someday become that dream that I envisioned in the fourth grade.
    Does being ten years old give you a special magic that you lose when you grow older? So many times I’ve heard people refer to the desires of their hearts when they were ten years old and that is who and what they wanted to be when they grew up. I wanted to be a writer. My mother even has a paper I wrote at that tender age that stated just that. I feel very ignorant at 45 years old at not having a pen to my name or a published piece to hold in a place of honor and am no further now then I was in fourth grade. I was probably better in fourth grade. I get angry with myself when I think of all of the opportunities that I have had over the years and have neglected this one long suffering need that continues to surface at least three or four times a year. I heard once that those kinds of needs aren’t from inside of you at all, but are from God.
    My life has opened up once again. I’ll officially be 45 in another month and my last of three sons will be a senior in high school, my sentence is almost complete. Getting out on parole or for good behavior doesn’t happen when you are a wife and mother, I could have wheeled out several novels had I been bad and gotten myself incarcerated here and there over the last 25 years. I don’t really know where to begin, but I know now that I have to just start where I am and see where it takes me. Getting behind the wheel of my mind and muse will be an adventure no doubt, I’m not entirely sure if it’ll come to some end or revelation but I know after this long I have to at least try.

  • Brandi

    I have found that joining an email chain with other writers you know (or maybe don’t) has helped me. We exchange our poems about once a week. When I see others posting their poems to the chain and I still haven’t yet, it motivates me to write something new add it to the mix. Also, not obsessing on how good it is, is also helpful (something I have a hard time with). This strategy is a jumping off point, and that is what counts. You can get feedback on your work and improve upon it if it’s something you want to keep.

  • Caroline

    Hi. I came across this great post after writing my own on finding the time to read and write – http://thenovelprojectchronicles.com/how-do-you-find-the-time-to-write-how-do-you-find-the-time-to-read/

    I like point number two, but psychologically I try to phrase it differently. Rather than thinking of it as giving something up in order to have writing time, think of it as make a conscious choice to do one thing over another. So I never give up a night in front of the TV, so much as I choose to spend it with a book or writing up a story.

    I also think Richard Niehus point below is spot on – the difference between finding and taking the time is huge.