How To Find Time To Write

How To Find Time To Write

Writing a book takes dedication, determination, hard work, and - most importantly - time. There's no easy fix to finishing your first novel, but we've got some handy hints that might help you find the time to write. Learn how to find time, make space and keep distractions at bay, the VideoJug way.

Step 1: Find somewhere to write

People get creative in the strangest of places - be it the garden shed, or your local greasy spoon, find somewhere convenient and comfortable where you can concentrate.

Bear in mind, that you'll be spending hours on end in this location, so make sure the way you work doesn't put unnecessary strain on your body. If you're working at a desk, try invest in a decent chair that will support your back properly and takes steps to avoid repetitive strain injury.

For advice on RSI, watch VideoJug's film "How to Prevent RSI".

Step 2: Keep your tools near you

Make sure you have everything you need around you. Have plenty of pens, paper for printing if you're using a computer or notebooks if you're writing your first draft by hand. Some writers also use scrap paper for scribbling notes, and reference cards or post-its to track story ideas. WHATEVER system you're using, make sure you've got it near to hand so you don't have to keep getting up to find things.

Step 3: Keep your distractions away from you

Put down your magazine, switch off your mobile phone, ignore your email, turn off the internet and concentrate. If you have family or friends in the house when you write, establish some ground rules early on and tell them to disturb you only in an emergency.

Step 4: Set targets

Set yourself goals - aim to write a certain number of words or pages during each writing session and try to meet that target. Make your goals realistic, or you'll soon feel like you're failing and lose motivation. If you're unsure what to aim for each day, see how many words you write in a week and divide by the number of sessions you did to find your average daily word count, then add some more - half a page, perhaps - to make your target. Challenge yourself - any time your goal seems easy to reach, up your word count.

Step 5: Make time

Try and set aside an hour a day, or at least a few times a week. Make an appointment with your desk- preferably the same time each day - and stick to it... It can help to pick a time when your house is quiet - whether you get up an hour early or go to bed an hour late. You should soon find yourself slipping into the habit, and you may even find your hour turns into three without you even noticing..

Step 6: Don't stop thinking

Just because you're not at your desk, doesn't mean you shouldn't be thinking. Carry a notebook on you at all times - after all, inspiration can strike in the most unlikely of places. Write down all your ideas, no matter if they seem weak. You may only use 5% of the material you record, but that 5% will be well worth the effort.

Step 7: Make sacrifices

Don't be under any illusions - writing is hard work and takes dedication and persistence. When you're pushed for time, something has to give, be it your raging social life, your time on the couch with the TV blaring or eight solid hours sleep a night. Only those who are willing to make the occasional sacrifice will get their novel finished.