As I am sure most of you know, I’m a full-time student. Which means, I always struggle to find time for writing because I can always push it to the side to make time for homework.
I would just like to say before I go into my spiel that these tips helped me, but everyone is different so figure out what works for you. Either way, I hope this helps some of you!
Create a location where you write, separate from distractions (as much as possible)
I know this is a hard one, honestly, it’s probably the hardest one in this short list. However, for me, it’s the one that’s the most important. I have a hard time writing with distractions, which is why I have such a hard time writing at home. When I am at home, I like to hang out with my family and watch TV so it’s hard for me to focus while doing all of that.
Usually, I write at school in between classes. There’s something about being in a busy location that lets me zone out and focus. I’m not sure why that’s the place that I don’t get distracted by people, but sometimes when I get stuck, I look up and watch the people going about their lives. I watch the kids who are already running late who stop and talk to their friends. I watch as people text on their phones, occasionally looking up at their classroom to see the previous professor is still holding their class even though they were supposed to be let out five minutes ago. Something about this waiting period is comforting to me, and being surrounded by people going about their lives helps me focus.
Is that weird? Probably, but it works. I’ve also used my car in a pinch for a quiet writing space. Honestly, where ever you can focus, works. I just personally have to be separated from my friends and family.
I think this is incredibly important for everyone. While I am not saying that you need to write for five hours at a time since that isn’t necessarily realistic for most people. I try to schedule at least thirty minutes a day to write, or on days I have off I try to schedule multiple thirty minute periods where I can write. I am one of those people that write in bursts, I write the idea down, flesh it out a bit, then I take a break. Then I come back later and type it up and edit.
Say no to less important things
Alright, it’s honesty hour. I have FOMO and so I have a hard time saying no to anything. I’m pretty much always ready to go somewhere and do something fun. While it’s a great way to live life and I end up doing some cool things, there’s a lot of stuff I could easily say no to, but I don’t. I feel like you have to remind yourself that your writing is the most important thing and that it’s okay to say no.
Track your writing
I really like data. I wear a Fitbit, so I can see all the data from my workouts and my sleep. I think that it’s incredibly motivating to see the progress you’ve made. For me, that’s why I like having tangible proof of how much I’ve written. Whether it be checking off one of my writing printables or I see the word count on my computer, both are incredibly motivating.
I know a lot of people set word goals, such as 2,000 words a day. This is something I am really trying to incorporate into my writing schedule. For the longest time, I didn’t set goals and I didn’t push myself to write if I wasn’t feeling inspired, which lead to me falling into a pit of procrastination and not writing a creative thing for at least three years. I constantly said I would get back to it when I had more time or when I felt inspired but I realized part of being a writer meant making time for writing.
I think that’s why it’s important for me to have goals. I need something to work towards and say “yes, I did that!” Plus, I think when you have something to work towards it motivates you to work harder.
Just start writing
Most importantly, start writing. Procrastinating is a writer’s worst enemy and it constantly wraps itself around us like a warm blanket. But, to create time for writing, you have to start writing. Whether you open your notes app, you grab a pen and paper, or you start talking to Siri. Whatever you have to do, do something to get all the creative energy you have and all your talent into something.
Ready to get to writing? Check out these scenes and writing prompts to get some ideas for your stories.
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