Ask Inkitt: Help! I Don’t Have Time to Write!

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Today’s ‘Ask Inkitt’ Question: I have a great idea for a story, but I don’t have time to write. Do you have any suggestions?

I wrote my first manuscript when all four of my kids still lived at home and I worked a full-time job. I feel your pain! It can be hard to carve out time from an already busy schedule for something new, even when you’re excited about it. But, if you want to write badly enough, you can figure it out. Here are a few suggestions to help get you started…

Commit to a regular habit of writing.

For some of us, this means writing every day. But for many people, that just isn’t realistic. Instead, determine what kind of writing rhythm works in your life, and then protect that time. If finishing your novel or short story is truly a priority, you have to commit to a regular practice. Here are some ways you can create a regular writing habit:

  • Get up 30 minutes earlier than usual. Use that time over coffee in a quiet house to write. Even if you only have 20 or 30 minutes, you’ll still make steady forward progress.
  • Use a lunch break, or some kind of break during the work day for writing. Find a quiet space and dive back into your fictional world for a little while.
  • Unplug the television and write after dinner. When you’ve finished the draft, reward yourself by binge watching an entire season of Stranger Things!  
  • Weekends are a perfect time to carve out consecutive hours. Take yourself off to the coffee shop for a few hours in the morning. You can be back by noon and still have the whole day ahead of you.  
  • Find opportunities to squeeze in some writing time during the day. Do you take a train to work? If yes, plug in the earbuds and get to work! Do you have to wait at the bus stop for the kids? If so, bring your notebook and arrive a few minutes early. Do you have a doctor’s appointment? A laptop travels.

Don’t wait for the muse.

Creativity breeds creativity, at least in my experience. Sure, inspiration can strike suddenly, and some days the words flow easily, but not always. Writing takes work. Some scenes are born kicking and screaming. If we wait for that perfect moment, we’ll never finish a project. Write during the times you’ve scheduled, even if you don’t end up using all the content.

Take charge of your time.

Take time to regularly organize your schedule. Once you’ve learned where writing fits into your life, prioritize it. Put it on your schedule and stick to that schedule as best you can. I am an obsessive planner. I use an online calendar and an intricate system of notebooks and to-do lists to stay organized. To friends and family, my habits may seem a bit obsessive, but maintaining control over my time is the single most important factor impacting my productivity.

It can be difficult to find time to write, but if you commit to a manageable schedule and find a writing rhythm that works for you, you’ll have that manuscript drafted before you know it!

Do you have a question for us? We invite you to ‘Ask Inkitt’ via email: [email protected]. We’ll post answers to the most frequently asked questions every Thursday right here on the Inkitt Writer’s Blog.  

Interested in learning more about how to succeed as an author on Inkitt?

Check out our last few Ask Inkitt articles, for insider tips, secrets and advice.

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About Author

Tabitha Lord is the award-winning author of the HORIZON series. She lives in Rhode Island with her husband, four kids, two spoiled cats, and lovable black lab.

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