This is quite the conundrum. When I told friends I’d written a book, the response I got time and again was- I’d love to write a book, but I don’t have time.
But, what do we really mean by time?
It’s true, we have busy lives, and time is a limited resource for most of us. In my experience, lack of time really means lack of head space. Time can usually be found. Do you have an hour in the evening when you watch TV? Or half an hour at lunchtime? Probably. What you might not have, is head space or energy.
I know when my children were little there wasn’t much time for anything. In the brief moments I snatched for myself, I was exhausted. I could’ve written in those moments, but I doubt it would have been worth reading.
In the same way, when I was teaching, I could’ve squeezed a few minutes writing in now and then, but all my creative energy was used up planning exciting activities for 4 and 5 year olds. I had time, but I had zero head space.
If by lack of time, you really mean head space or energy, don’t beat yourself up. It could be that you need to put writing on hold until life slows down a bit. But if writing a book is your burning desire, there are a few things you can try:
-Set a regular time each week to write. It could be a whole morning, or an hour a week, when a friend can take the kids to the park.
-Make changes to your job, or lifestyle that give you not just time but moments of peace, when your brain stops whirring and you can think clearly.
-If you have hobbies, swap one of them for writing.
-Try writing 100 words a day, or at least every few days. Keep it regular. Even 100 words a day will add up to a book eventually, and more often than not, you’ll get so absorbed in what you’re writing, that word count will shoot up way beyond 100.
-Don’t worry if you go a day, a week or month and have nothing new on the page. Writing is a pleasure, not another tool to beat yourself up with.
-Goals are good, but don’t make them unrealistic. If you can only write 500 words a week, don’t expect to have a novel written and edited in 6 months. It’s OK to take your time. Many bestselling authors took years to write their novels!
Finally, good luck! Happy writing, and if you have time(!), let me know how you get on! 😊
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LK Wilde is a Cornwall based Author, who juggles writing with music, teaching and raising two busy boys.