As all writers know, one of the major things you have to do to succeed as a Writer is to write. All the time. Every day. But as many of us (in the real world) also have ‘proper’ jobs that we sort of have to do in order to stay alive, making time to write every day isn’t always easy.
So here’s a few ideas that might help:
Stop Watching TV
Okay, so maybe that’s an obvious one, and I know lots of people who would never consider this to be an option. But let’s face it, most of us spend around four hours a day watching the goggle box (according to the BBC) and that’s a fair stretch of time. Even if you’re a slow writer, you should be able to knock out at least 500 words in four hours.
Admittedly, I don’t actually have a TV, so it isn’t such an issue for me. However, I’m not claiming to be Saint Colin, since I do watch stuff on BBC iplayer. The difference is that because of the way I watch (choosing specific topics rather than just sitting in front of the TV), I only actually see one or two programmes a day, so my viewing time is probably about 60-90 minutes in total, which I don’t think is bad. I also have days when I’m so engrossed in writing that I don’t think about TV at all.
Give Up Your Social Life
Don’t panic, I’m not suggesting you shouldn’t have fun occasionally, but if you’re the sort of person who spends more than three nights per week out of the house, then maybe it’s time to cut back, I mean, how much drinking/eating/partying can one person do? Look at it this way – if you have say, three evenings a week with dedicated (ie uninterrupted) writing time, even if it’s only one hour, that’s already three more hours than you had before. And of course, if you put in the time now, it’ll pay off later, cos when you’re a famous novelist you’ll get invited to loads of great parties. Apparently.
Be an Early Riser/Night Owl
I always wake up early so it wouldn’t be a bad plan to get up and write for an hour before getting ready for work, since I’m already awake. If you’re more of a night bird, the same goes for going to bed a little later, thereby creating a little bit of writing time for yourself. Again, it doesn’t have to be several hours, just enough to keep things ticking over.
Write Every Day
It doesn’t have to be a mammoth task. People who write every day – whether it’s work on their novel, blogging, Twittering or whatever – tend to find it easier to write on a regular basis. It then becomes a routine and like any exercise involving regular workouts, the more you do it, the better (and easier) it will get.
Give Yourself Deadlines
I’m not talking about the I’ll-finish-this-damn-book-by-Christmas deadlines, but more the sort of thing you can reasonably stick to. Like completing a chapter in three days, a week or whatever. And the great thing about making your own deadlines is that you can break them! Not all the time, obviously, but if you have a particularly creative spurt one day, maybe you don’t need to go the whole hog the next day.
Essentially, all I’m saying is that those amazingly successful writers who we all admire, got to where they are by writing, instead of doing other things. So go fish. I mean write. You know what I mean.