Why It’s Hard to Find Time to Write
and How to Do it Anyway
By Rochelle Melander
Many people set the New Year’s Resolution of writing more. Some want to write something big—a book, a blog, or even a speech. Others just want to make writing a daily habit.
Then a few weeks into the New Year they realize: nothing’s changed. It’s still hard to find time to write.
Here are five reasons it’s hard to find time to write…and how to do it anyway.
Reason #1: You’re waiting for inspiration
I hear it all the time from clients and friends: “I just can’t get inspired to write!” Maybe a few weeks ago, on a free day, you felt inspired and wrote for hours. But since then, you haven’t felt like writing—even when you have the time. What do you do now?
The Fix: Schedule time each week to write. The frequency and amount of time doesn’t matter so much. What does matter: committing to a regular time. So do it: schedule your writing time into the calendar for the next month.
Reason #2: You have nothing to say
This can go along with #1—waiting for inspiration. When we say we’re waiting to be inspired, what we’re often waiting for is that magical download of information. And that can happen. But here’s the thing: the people who get those downloads usually get them WHILE they are working and not before.
The Fix: Before each writing session, make notes about what you’re planning to write about. It can be helpful to do this a day or so in advance, then your subconscious has time to work on your ideas. By the time your writing session rolls around, you’ll have plenty to say!
Reason #3: You’re waiting for ideal
You’re waiting for the ideal something—the ideal time, place, idea, education, and so forth Maybe you have said, “I’ll be ready to write the book after I take this class or when I get my office redone, or once I’ve learned Scrivener?” Or maybe you’ve tried writing and it’s not going well and you think, “If only I had a PhD or an MFA. I bet then I wouldn’t struggle like this.”
The Fix: The obsession with the ideal usually hits us when we’re dissatisfied with our work. When we’re writing, we assume that our poor first draft is due to some less-than-ideal situation—our messy house, our slow computer, or our lack of education. And we imagine that writers with clean houses, new computers, and fancy degrees never face these doubts. So not true! EVERYONE doubts. Don’t wait for the ideal anything and don’t worry if your work doesn’t read like your favorite self-help guru’s bestselling book. Just write. You can make it better when you revise it.
Reason #4: You put others first
Every time you’re supposed to be writing, you’re taking care of family, friends, and clients. You’re doing committee work or baking cupcakes for your kid’s school. You’re counseling a friend or hanging out on social media.
The Fix. Just like with savings, pay yourself first. Get your writing time on the calendar first—and then keep that boundary. Don’t let anyone or anything get between you and your writing.
Reason #5: You’re tired
You’ve set aside time to write, done all the prep work, and showed up: and … nothing happens. You’re distracted. You can’t focus. You jot down a few notes, but you have trouble putting together sentences. What now?
The Fix. Chances are good you’re tired, maybe even a little burned out. You’ve been working so hard that you have no time to think. You need to rest. Take a break. Read a book. Do something that renews your energy—like taking a walk in nature or napping. Next time you show up to write—you’ll be ready.
Still stuck? I can help. Schedule your complementary consultation with me.
Write Now! Coach Rochelle Melander is an author, a certified professional coach, and a popular speaker. Melander has written ten books including Write-A-Thon: Write Your Book in 26 Days (And Live to Tell About It) and the forthcoming book, Level Up: Quests to Master Mindset, Overcome Procrastination and Increase Productivity. As the Write Now! Coach, she teaches professionals how to write books fast, get published, and connect with readers through social media. Schedule your complimentary consultation today.