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Finding The Time

If you’re here for today’s A to Z Challenge post (letter E!) please GO HERE.

This post is part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group blog hop. The first Wednesday of every month is Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. The awesome co-hosts for the April 6 posting of the IWSG will be Megan Morgan, Chris Votey, Viola Fury, Christine Rains, Madeline Mora-Summonte, L.G. Keltner, Rachna Chhabria, and Patricia Lynne!

Hello everybody! I’m once again co-hosting the IWSG and I couldn’t be happier. I love this group!

Wanna know how crazy I am? I’m co-hosting today AND I’m also doing the A to Z Challenge this month. I’m also in the process of moving. Yes, moving into a new place. ‘Chaos’ hardly covers my state of mind right now. Which brings me to the topic of today’s post:

HOW DO YOU FIND THE TIME TO WRITE?

By ‘you’ I don’t mean ‘me,’ but the all-encompassing ‘you,’ as in, all us writers. When do we find the time to write? Life is hectic for everybody, make no mistake. Many of us have jobs, families, responsibilities, things we have to do, things we want to do, and we have to wedge some socialization and relaxation in there or we’ll go crazy. So how do you find time to write?

For me, no matter how hard I try, I’ve never been a scheduler. I can’t say “I’m going to write x amount of words at x time of this or that day,” because that’s not how my creative brain works and it never has. I can sort of aim for days when I know I’m going to have some downtime, but again, I can’t necessarily plan for it or give myself strict rules about what time to do it, or how much I’ll write, or how long I’ll write. If something is really flowing and I’m chugging along on a story that’s speaking to me, I can hammer out a lot of writing very fast. I try to aim for 2,000 words a writing session. If the ideas are chattering I can produce much more. Alternately, some days getting to that 2,000 is like climbing a mountain made of ice and mud.

But despite having no set schedule for myself, the writing comes. I get entire books written that way. I learned long ago to stop questioning the process and just follow it. For me, when life is stressful, finding a bit of time to write always chills me out and makes me feel more focused.

So how do you find time to write? It’s been my experience as a writer that you don’t have a choice in the matter. When a story is haunting you, it will demand quality time with your fingers and keyboard whether it’s the middle of the night or a few stolen moments between responsibilities. And the more you entertain the Muse, the more she comes back, like a stray cat you put food out for. If you’re a writer you will make writing a priority and find a way to steal some time–whether in great gulps or little nibbles. You will get where you need to go.

How do you make time to write? Share some tips and tricks in the comments!

Megan Morgan View All

Urban fantasy and paranormal romance author.

86 thoughts on “Finding The Time Leave a comment

  1. Oh my goodness. Are you tearing your hair out trying to keep up with so many things? Hopefully now activities are winding down. Yeah, I’m late for IWSG. Just wanted to pop in and say thanks for co-hosting. I discovered when I saved a time after lunch to spend on finishing my latest fiction novel, I actually made progress on it. Of course I didn’t do it everyday, but after awhile I discovered if I didn’t write after lunch, I felt cheated. Best wishes!

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    • Things are still a bit crazy as I get closer and closer to my moving date! It’s chaotic but I’ll probably be bored when things settle down, I know me.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. I’ve recently started writing and sometimes I don’t write anything for days on end. It’s my downtime or break from writing when I try to read a lot or simply absorb life happening around which I hope will enrich my writing. But I’ve wondered if that’s a good way to do things and so I’ve signed up for A2Z –to force myself to write everyday. Writing doesn’t come easy to me and I seem to need frequent breaks.

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    • I’m sort of like that too, but when I AM writing, it’s all I want to do. If you just recently started writing, don’t worry, you’ll find what works best for you in time! Forcing yourself to write may make you more disciplined, but it also might make you hate it. You have to find out what works best for you. Good luck and thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! I had a lot of fun with it–and thankfully, did it way back in February and got everything prepared, or I don’t think I could hang right now.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. Well, I’m doing Camp Nano this month, so the simple thing is to leave Facebook off, ignore the emails, and write for two hours. Then do everything else I need to do in the day and if I’ve got more time, go back to it. So today, I’m doing the A to Z visits I might have done yesterday, because I didn’t have time for them – but I’m looking at two posts of the people I’m visiting to make up. 🙂
    Jemima Pett

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    • I forgot all about Camp NaNo this month, though of course I probably wouldn’t have done the A-Z Challenge if I’d done that. Maybe I’ll do it in July! We must give ourselves a little break, right?

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve never been a scheduler either. I sit down to write when I have time and try not to procrastinate.

    I also think I’m crazy too. I’m a ninja minion for the challenge, volunteered to host IWSG and decided to rewrite a character arc. The only things I managed yesterday were my IWSG duties and the rewrites. Today I am catching up on everyone’s A to Z.

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    • I think you sound like me, apparently I thrive on chaos! When I’ve got a full plate I’m usually happy with the stress and it somehow makes me more creative. Good luck!

      Thanks for stopping by!

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    • Yes! The best thing ever is when a scene is just flowing, you’re enjoying the writing, so you just forget about the word count. I wish that happened all the time.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. Like you, I don’t set a schedule for myself. No “2,000 words every MWF.” No, none of that. I think it kills the creative spirit.

    My boyfriend knows I’m a writer so he expects that after dinner and the dog is walked and fed, I retire to the computer to work. Most evenings I aim for two hours. Sometimes I sit for only 15 minutes. But I definitely force myself to devote some amount of time each day, no matter how small, to whatever piece I’m working on. It’s a routine I can stick with.

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    • That’s good! They say the more you do a routine, the more it becomes a habit, so making yourself write every day makes your brain ‘ready’ for it. I’m glad your boyfriend is supportive!

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  6. When I first starting writing, I wrote on more of a schedule than I do now. Now, I write when I have time. The last few weeks that’s been early morning and on weekends. It works for me.

    Thanks for co-hosting this month.

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  7. For me, I had to realize my schedule is for me and I have my own ways to make it happen. I don’t set a word count. I do get up every morning at 4:15 to devote a good hour to write. When the muse is going it’s so hard to shut it down, especially at my job, but post it notes as the best invention ever to help me through it. I think we all have to do what we can do and a little each day keeps the mind on the story. Thank you for your awesome words today.

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  8. I usually sit with a calendar and schedule some days. Once writing regularly is a habit, you almost do it compulsively without really noticing you’ve done it. Here by you I mean me (and possibly other writers).

    It seems like many people have lots on their plates this month. Good luck with the move.

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  9. During the workweek, I get up at 5:30 a.m. It’s nuts, but it’s the only way I can guarantee words each day. And if I don’t get writing time each day, I get a little crazy.

    Good luck with the chaos and thanks for co-hosting!

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  10. We had the same insecurity this month. But mine isn’t finding the time. It’s getting around the shiny objects and forcing the issue with my characters.
    Vets, farming, spouses, kids…shoot, even laundry, backed up toilets, broken furnace. GAAHHH!! It’s all against me.
    And I’m not even including Facebook.
    Thx for hosting this month 😀
    Author of Wilder Mage at Spirit Called

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  11. I’ve learned to do things when I feel like doing it, but strongly encouraging myself that things need to get done. The trick is forgiving yourself when you fail to live up to what you need to do.

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  12. I have a general ‘schedule’ I try to stick to, i.e., blocks of writing time every day. Some days go better than others. I just try to do the best I can, and not worry about the rest. Some days that goes better than others as well. 🙂

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  13. When I get into my dedicated writing moods, I take my laptop and visit a coffee house or the airport and force myself to write for at least an hour. But that’s not happening this month.
    On top of trying to get some writing done, I’m engaged in a lot of various other writing chores this month. I’m in the IWSG, I’m a participant in the Battle of the Bands, which amounts to two battles a month and two winner reveal posts a month. But I’m also doing the A-Z this year and have signed up to be a Ninja Minion. It’s a lot of work, but it’s fun and enjoyable. I have promised myself that next month I go blog lite, rest some and work on my writing hard core.

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    • I giggled at ‘airport’ because I work in one so no way in heck would I go there to write, but I completely understand what you’re saying.

      That does sound like a crazy, full blog schedule! But if you’re having fun with it, I say go for it. It sounds like you thrive in chaos the way I do. Thanks for stopping by!

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  14. I know this isn’t advice everyone can or should follow, but I gave up full time employment for a part time job. I found a way to make it work financially, at least temporarily, and I’m trusting that my writing will eventually replace the lost income.

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    • You know, I kinda did something like this too, though I don’t know if at the time I was directly thinking that way. After years of working long, grueling weeks I work a job now where I’m only part time four days a week with a set schedule, and it leaves me LOTS of time to write. I’ve been poor most of my life so I’m pretty good at it. It’s doesn’t bother me.

      Best of luck to you. Thanks for stopping by!

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  15. I’m very much the same as you Megan. I don’t schedule because my mind fights against it. I write when and however I Can and try not to fuss over the times I can’t. 🙂

    shahwharton.com

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  16. I love that metaphor near the end about the stray cat you put out food for. It is exactly like that. I can ignore my muse for a while but sooner or later there I’ll be up all night having to write. That said, allocating time is definitely necessary for life balance. Still working on that. Good luck moving!

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    • I wish we could tempt the Muse with catnip and make them do what we want, though. 😉 Life balance isn’t always easy to achieve…I’m still working on it!

      Thank you! I think the major packing is almost done now. Thanks for stopping by!

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  17. So nice to meet a kindred soul. I don’t schedule anything and tell my friends you’ll see me when you see me. My husband know I tend to be a bit impulsive and so he’s learned to either step aside or know when to pull on my reins. As for writing, I think I’m writing all the time but not necessarily at the keyboard. When I feel the scene or dialogue really jell, nothing can stop me from writing; well, until lately I’ve been suffering from author burnout. See my post about that beast. Blessings

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    • It’s heartening to know so many others are like this, that’s it’s hard for us to make schedules and stick to them. I’m also pretty impulsive–I know some people thrive on structure, but I’m not really one of those people.

      I’ll stop by your post. Thank you for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Thanks for co-hosting today! How do I find time to write? I’m still trying to figure that one out? But what I have found out is I do well with writing sprints. So any time of the day I can steal a little bit of time to do a 10 or 15 minute word sprint. Especially, in the morning when I sometimes crank out 250 words in 15 minutes before getting up and ready to start the day. Now if only I can stop pressing the snooze button.

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    • That’s a good method! Sneaking in time here and there. I need to learn to do that a little better because I tend to wait for big chunks of time. And sometimes…they don’t come!

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  19. All us ‘crazies’ got to stick together, right? LOL Thanks for hosting the IWSG again! It’s so much fun and so informative. I’ve been a scheduler and then I’ve flown by the seat of my pants. When I was younger everything had to have a time and place. Period. I was pretty rigid. (Wisdom comes with age.) But then I had a baby and then another and then… Yeah, we have four kids. Granted, they’re older now, thus life is a little easier. But they cured my need to sticky note everything. Now, I try to write in the morning, while everyone is off at school, and maybe at night a little.

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    • I think I’ve gotten less rigid as I’ve gotten older too. I just kinda try to listen to the voices in my head (hah!) and go with what feels right. I think I’ve been writing so long it’s just a reflex.

      You sound like you have a full house and lots of duties! Bravo for getting some writing in there. Thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Recently I met up with a local writer who lives in my sub to get his take on the libraries and bookstores, writing groups and such in the area, since he’s lived here for years and I’m a relative “newbie” to the area. He told me about a writing group he belongs to that meets in a small restaurant located in a grocery store and all they do is write. They meet up and they write for a couple of hours. They just work on their individual WIP. At first I thought this sounded strange. The more I think about it though, the more it makes sense. If going to a place where like-minded folk who also have a hard time finding the time, uninterrupted space or discipline to just sit down and write, even once a week, will help you get it done, then why not? It’s not my kind of thing, but it’s a great idea for those folks because it works for them! What works for me? Apparently a glass of wine, healthy snacks and soft music…

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    • That’s such a great idea! Because if you’re there, you’re committed to writing for that amount of time and you’re accountable to the other writers there. Some people probably love having the break from distractions at home, too! I don’t know if I would enjoy something like that or not, but I’d probably give it a try at least a couple times.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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    • Welcome! This group is awesome and you’ll have fun posting. And yes, I’m pretty bad about sticking to a ‘schedule’ too. My brain just doesn’t work that way.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  21. You are so right, Megan, you must listen to your creative voice. S/he’ll tell you how it goes. I tried changing to something of structure, and that worked about as well as eating peanut butter and onion sandwiches. Can’t always fight to change what comes natural. Which is okay, because we’re all different and we should celebrate those differences. Thanks for co-hosting once again!

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    • I try to structure myself too and my brain laughs at me. I’m glad so many other people deal with this! When the writing wants to be done, it wants to be done.

      Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  22. “I learned long ago to stop questioning the process and just follow it.”

    So true! It won’t stop me from trying what everyone else does, but I usually go back to my same ways.

    I find time to write by opening my laptop and starting to write. I don’t wait for a muse, I ignore laundry and sometimes tell my spouse he is on his own to forage food in the house. Sometimes I skip going out with friends or going to the movies because these books won’t write themselves. When I’m stuck or frustrated, that’s when I see a friend or watch a movie.

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    • Very good advice. Sometimes you just have to ignore the world and get things done. For me, that makes me a much more pleasant person to be around anyway. When I’m denying myself writing time I’m not happy with myself or the world.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  23. I’m not much of a scheduler either. I’m getting better at making lists and marking things down on my calendar, but then I tend to ignore them anyway, so what’s a guy to do?

    Thanks for co-hosting this month’s IWSG.

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  24. I don’t have a trick. For me, it is a must. When I don’t write in the morning hours, no one can live with me in the afternoon, because I am miserable and grouchy. So to avoid that, I get up and write.
    Thank you for co-hosting.
    Shalom,
    Patricia EverythingMustChange

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    • Yes, I’m like that too! When I’m writing, I’m happy and my whole days seems to go better. When I don’t write I’m grouchy and turned in on myself.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  25. My time to write is when the kid is in school, but during weekends and holidays, it’s really tough. I try to grab an hour at night, but if that doesn’t happen, five or ten minutes during the day helps. A few words written are better than no words!

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    • Tell me about it. I can fill ‘writing time’ with so many other (usually not pressing) things. Procrastinators of the world unite! But like…tomorrow or something.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  26. It’s not a matter of finding time for me. I have to make time. I tell the kids I’m working now and if they talk to me, they won’t get a reply. Oh, but I put my oldest in charge first. (We home school.) If I don’t MAKE it happen, it never does.

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  27. A mountain of ice and mud does sound challenging. I think people have to find the formula that works for them, even if the formula keeps changing. In today’s world, adaptation is key.

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  28. I actually find it easier to write when I have lots of other things I should be doing too – somehow, my contrary brain gets creative at those moments :). When I have loads of time I have to make myself start typing. I think this is the universe’s was of laughing at me. Hence it’s mostly a matter of slipping some time in whenever, or forcing myself to sit down and create something 🙂
    Tasha
    Tasha’s Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

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    • I’m very much the same way! Somehow I tend to be more creative when I’ve got a million and one things to do. Maybe it’s reverse psychology. Like when you HAVE to get something done you don’t want to, so if you have very little time to get something done, maybe that makes you want to do it more. I’m just glad it works.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  29. Hello, Megan, nice to meet you. Thanks for co-hosting this month. I’m an extremely slow writer. Some days it’ll take me almost an hour just to get the characters up and moving. I babysit my grand baby and I write while he naps or on my day off.

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    • I know how that goes! Sometimes I write fast and have a lot of inspiration, other times it takes forever. You have to steal time where you can find it, too.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Like

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