As a writer, it’s easy for me to say just sit down and write. Duh! It’s that simple. But is it? I’ve come across several writers who ask me; “How do you find the time to write as much as you do?” There is a science to it.
I started writing in hight school. My desire was to become an author. I dreamed of writing that book. I wanted it so bad, I could almost taste it. Fast-forward ten years and my book was finally published.
In 2009 I decided to start this blog. I admit, I had no clue what I was doing. Truth to tell, I was all over the map. I couldn’t have written about the same topic more than a couple of times. Today is much different.
But where do I find the time to write? I post three times a week to this blog, plus I write an email post to those on my newsletter list. In-fact, if you’re not subscribed I encourage you to do so here.
I calculated I write around 2,000 words a week for this blog. That’s around 24,000 words a year. That doesn’t include what I spend writing for the church, my next book or other publications. If I were to add all those up, I’d able to say I’m closer to 50,000 words a year.
To put that into perspective, that’s 1 medium size book in word-count. Back to my question; How am I able to write so much while working a full-time job? I’m going to give you three must-dos that will elevate your writing to the next level.
1. Write down your goals.
Nothing happens unless we decide to make it a goal. If I didn’t schedule out the times I need to write, nothing would happen. Last week is a good example. I procrastinated and the podcast didn’t get written or recorded until until 6 hours from when it would post to the website.
Our problem is we don’t take time to write down our goal.
- How many words?
- What day do I want to write?
- What amount of time should I block off?
I’ve found in daily writing that my scheduled time to write is sacred. I usually wait until my family goes to bed, then I spend the last hour and a half of my day writing. I need this time to think, process and write down my thoughts. Sometimes, nothing comes of it and it becomes a note for a future blog post. But the important thing, I write.
Here’s what you should do.
- Schedule a time to write and stick to it.
- Set your calendar to busy.
- Write, edit and publish your blog post.
If you follow these three things, you’ll find your goal easier to accomplish. But it begins by writing it down. If we don’t set goals, we procrastinate. The only way to get better at the craft of writing is simply to write. Set a goal to publish your post on a specific day every week. This creates accountability in your writing.
I publish every Monday, Wednesday and Friday (I publish two post on Friday one on the blog and one in email.) My audience knows when I don’t post and that accountability keeps me moving forward.
One of the biggest issues a lot of writers face is they don’t take time to write. We talked previously about scheduling your posts and sticking to it. But to really perfect the craft of writing, you must write daily. It doesn’t have to be much. It can simply be a journal post. Something only you will read. But the goal should be to write daily.
There’s an old adage, “If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.” So true! This is why I make it a priority to write something each day. I mentioned earlier that I spend the last hour of my day writing. This is how I’m able to write nearly 50,000 words in a single year. It takes dedication and an unwavering commitment. Are you up to the challenge.
* Create a distraction free zone.
* Shut down the internet and email.
* Don’t look up until you’ve hit your word-count goal.
Reward yourself for Success:
Writing is a very lonely task. You can’t really talk. You are stuck in creative mode and any distraction throws you off. You may even be called a strange creature that only comes out at night. I’m sure this is how some view me. The reality, because we are focusing on our writing, we need to come up for air.
- Let’s say you write a 700 word blog post. You schedule it to go live tomorrow. Allow yourself to have some downtime.
- Let’s say you have written 2,000 words for your next book. Take yourself to Starbucks and get a latte.
- Let’s say you finished an email that’s going to go out to your mailing list. It’s 9:00 pm, go to bed early.
The goal is to reward yourself for your writing accomplishments. It doesn’t have to be much. Just enough to keep you motivated to continue the fight one more day.
Create a habit of good writing skills. Schedule your time. Set your goals and then reward yourself for accomplishing those goals. You’ll find–not only will you become more proficient at your craft–success and accomplishment that few will ever find.
Question: How do you schedule your writing time? Do you have a set day or word count? Leave a comment by clicking here!