What It Takes: Time

Blog Post 58  What It Takes TimeIf you took a survey people what their most precious commodity was, you’d probably get a variety of answers.  Money.  Health.  And time.  Those hours in the day don’t cost us a thing.  But we can’t make more of it, and most of us seem to have many demands placed on it.

To write a book, having time and using it wisely are critical.

You need to spend time learning the craft.  Very few writers out there can write a book with no training.  Even gifted authors must hone their skills through training.  That takes time.

You need time to write.  Writing a good non-fiction book or novel of publishable quality takes weeks, months, and maybe even years.  Researching, drafting, producing, and marketing takes time.  To cut corners means a substandard product.

You need time to become a writer.  Good writers, even great writers, didn’t get that way overnight.  Yes, they have the gift, but they may spend years honing their craft until they have reached a publishable level.

You may have many demands on your time.  If you do, here are some things to think about as ways to carve out enough minutes in the day to write.

  1. Consider delaying. I’m not saying this as a way to discourage you. But maybe you’re in a situation where the demands on your time, like working full time with small children and aging parents, consume every minute you have. If this is your situation, consider putting off writing until your time frees up a little more.
  2. Prioritize your time. Take a look at how you spend your days. Keep a time journal for a month. You might spend more time than you realized playing video games. Or maybe you chair a church committee. Consider what you can give up. Maybe there are places where you can step aside to write while others come forward to lead.
  3. Don’t take shortcuts. So you really want to write, but you’ve taken a look at your schedule. With a sigh, you might murmur, “Well, if I got up an hour earlier…” The problem is, you already only put in six hours for good sleep. Some writers may say, “Get up earlier.” I’m saying, “Don’t cut out vital activities in your life like sleeping, exercising, and eating right.” Doing so, especially shorting yourself on sleep, may actually hamper your creativity and endanger your health and relationships.
  4. Set goals. Put yourself on some sort of writing goal. It may be words per day or words per week. When I’m drafting or revising a novel, it’s a words per week goal because I know that there may be days where I don’t write due to other obligations. If you set a goal of 250 words a day (which amounts to about a page), you could potentially have a novel by the end of a year. Take a look at your time journal. Lay out blocks of time where you can write. Then guard that time like a lion does her prey.
  5. Be patient. As I mentioned two weeks ago in my post, learning to write and producing a publishable work takes lots of time, most likely years. That’s okay. Keep pressing forward. You will get there one day. Promise.

There is no magical solution finding the time to write, but if you have the desire, you’ll find a way to do so.  You’ll figure out what’s critical in your life.  You’ll keep your life balanced.  You’ll find the needed time.  Then you’ll move forward and accomplish your goals.

This post does not mention any products.  Therefore, I am not receiving any compensation for writing this post.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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