How Serious a Writer Are You?

One of the complaints I hear from writers, especially those just starting out, is they can’t find the time to write. I’ve written on this before but it came up again recently and I’m led to revisit it.

MP900289709 First of all, you will never find the time to write.

To paraphrase Jack London, you can’t find the time to write, you have to go after it with a club. He was talking about inspiration, but the same principle applies.

You don’t find the time to write, you make the time to write.

Recently, I found my schedule filled with really good things, most of them involving writing in some way. I was editing, coaching, critiquing. Working with other writers to help them improve in the craft.

But I found I was looking for places to squeeze some writing time. I was trying to find the time to write.

Revelation: I had allowed my priorities to slip. I focused on other aspects of writing as a career and a business and not on my own work.

So I took some time and I prayed and I re-evaluated and re-assessed. And remembered all the tools I preached when I taught time management.

The first step back to creative sanity was to block out the best time for me to write. When am I most creative? I am a morning person. That’s the time I need to covet and protect for my own writing.

Now mornings are blocked out for writing, except for an occasional writers group meeting. And my production has improved remarkably. I write from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and generate an average of 1,500 words in each session.

When is your most creative time? Put some thought and prayer into this.

Are you a morning or night person?

Can you arrange your schedule to get up earlier or stay up later? When I was working full time outside the home, I would get typewriterup at 4:00 a.m. to create time to write. Doing this, created an hour-and-a-half solely for writing. Those ninety minutes became precious to me. Because the time was short and focused, I maxed out what I could do in it and frequently wrote a thousand words.

How can you rearrange and/or delegate other chores and activities to create writing time?

How can you engage your family in supporting you in pursuing God’s plan for you to write?

Whatever time you create, no matter how little or how much, remember this: write everyday for as long as you can.

What are some of things you’ve done to make time for writing?



8 Responses to How Serious a Writer Are You?

  1. J.A. Marx June 26, 2013 at 5:02 pm #

    A helpful post, Henry. Funny how other “good” stuff snakes into my week, my day…and then the week is over.

  2. Henry June 26, 2013 at 7:02 pm #

    Thank you, Julie.

  3. Heather June 26, 2013 at 8:35 pm #

    As a mom of three who is on the steep learning curve of writing my first novel, I am always asking myself if I am managing time well and keeping my priorities in line.

    Because my children are small, they MUST be my first priority. But this novel is a calling and a joy, so I must make time for writing and be careful about what other responsibilities I take on. And it can be so hard to say “no” to good things.

    In general, Tuesdays and Thursdays after dinner are my writing times. (My son’s naptime, I’ve found, isn’t a good time for me to work.) My family is very supportive of this. If I am invited to an event, even for ministry, on a Tuesday or Thursday I say “no, thank you.” These are the nights I go to work, even if that just means going to the front room and closing the door. My goal for each evening is 500 words.

    Of course things happen on Tuesdays and Thursdays: school presentations, recitals, VBS, sick child or car repair. When these things come up, writing time sometimes gets rescheduled, and sometimes it gets missed. And that’s okay: family comes first.

  4. Darlene L. Turner June 26, 2013 at 10:43 pm #

    Great post, Henry! This is a tough one, isn’t it? My best time to write is in the morning. However, I work full time too, so that makes it a bit tricky!

    I need to make more time to write. Thanks for kicking me in the butt with this post! bahahaa! 🙂

  5. Henry June 26, 2013 at 11:32 pm #

    Hey Darlene, Thanks for subscribing to my blog. I hope it blesses you in some way.
    I’ve had to balance writing when I worked full time. DiAnn Mills told me to ge tup earlier. Hello, 4 a.m.

    I want to let you know I enjoy your blog very much. I really like how you use stories to weave in your points. Great job.

  6. Henry June 26, 2013 at 11:34 pm #

    Hi Heather,

    I admire your discipline in finding and keeping to two writing times. Two of the things it takes to be a writer are discipline and flexibility. I appreciate how you know your priorities and and keep family first.

    Proud of you.

  7. Diane June 27, 2013 at 2:18 am #

    Blocking off time to write is so important! Thanks for writing another great post!

  8. Henry June 27, 2013 at 3:20 am #

    You’re welcome. And thanks for reading them so faithfully.

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