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Find (More!) Time to Write by Rochelle Melander

A favorite writing spot of min: Coronado, CA

A favorite writing spot of mine: Coronado, CA

The most important thing is to hold on, hold out, for your creative life, for your solitude, for your time to be and do, for your very life. —Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Stephen King writes every day, with the goal of writing ten pages a day. Hemingway wrote early in the morning, to avoid the heat, and tried to get down 500 words. Author Cory Doctorow has said that he spends 20 minutes a day working on his current novel—and that’s enough writing to finish writing a novel a year.

Many of this summer’s tips have been dedicated to helping writers who work find time to write. Here are three more ways to make time to write.

1. The Day Off Writer. I’ve heard rumors that National Novel Writing participants who cannot write every day put in a big old marathon day once a week, on their day off. For writers who need time to get into the mood to write and hate quitting once they get there, taking a day each week to write sounds like a sensible thing to do. Pick up your computer, head off to a coffee shop, and write until your fingers grow numb!

2. The Weekend Retreat Writer. Many of my writing friends who also work or parent have found that taking a weekend writing retreat once a month or once a quarter can boost their writing productivity. One friend books rooms at a local monastery. Another heads out to a family cabin to write. When I escape my home to write for a weekend, I like to go to a city so that between writing sessions I can walk, visit museums, and find great food.

3. The Vacation Writer. Every summer, a writing friend takes a week of his vacation to participate in a writing workshop at one of the many writing programs in the United States. Other friends have gathered with other writers in rented condos to write and discuss their work. Another regularly housesits for friends on vacation, dedicating the week to writing. However you end up doing it, taking a vacation to write can be the perfect way to both write and have a life.

Your turn: What unusual ways have you used to find time to write? Have you written in any crazy places?


4 Responses

  1. I do both #1 and #2 I find a day each week that I dedicate to my novel and a day to dedicate to my blog posts. I do a writing retreat once a quarter (though I wish I could do it monthly — dare to dream) for maximum productivity and to escape daily life. I go to a nearby city that’s perfect for walking around, getting lots of good food, and finding inspiration. It doesn’t hurt that it’s the setting of my novel.

    For my day-to-day writing I wait until the kids are in bed and I lock (literally) myself in my room and write and I can’t come out (even for the bathroom or a drink of water) until I’ve met a goal that I’ve set. When my husband is feeling lonely I’ll come out and sit at the dining room table to write while he’s doing his own thing. We’re together, but still getting our work done. Throughout the day I will try and sneak some writing time in between kid time. My writing time is going to be more precious once school starts up again (we homeschool) and I’ll have to make sure I get the most out of my writing time.

    1. writenowcoach

      I love the idea of a writing retreat once a quarter! I need that. And I wish I could write at night–but I’m usually too tired by then! I’ll look forward to hearing how you juggle writing and homeschooling. I’m waiting patiently for the kids to go back to school so I’ll have more time to work!

  2. Great post. I need to do all THREE of these things. I’m still wallowing in the 5am to 7am and 9pm to 12midnight writing windows for everything I do.

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