As a mother of a homeschooler, I get little in the way of time to actually write without interruption. If not my son, then my husband or even my dog or cat will persist on wanting to know at odd times ‘what are you doing?’. I can shoot out a 300+ word article of crap, but I want to get into the groove of writing; to lose myself in that state of mind where I’m lost in my own world of stories or laying out words into some semblance of understanding. Sometimes, however, this simply can’t be done.
Here are a few tips I found helped me in finding that time to write:
- Create boundaries. Make sure your family understand your writing times and that you are not to be disturbed. This includes kids and even pets. Explain to them that this is your writing time, and must be respected. I use a shut door and a note on the door. I also provide the time I will be emerging from my writing lair. This way, my family won’t feel entirely abandoned. I also refuse to answer the phone, the door, or even reply to emails or online messaging programs. My writing time is my work time.
- Snatch up writing time when you get it. Although ideally for me, writing for hours is ideal. I love getting lost in words and ideas. I also accept the ten to twenty minutes I can find through my day to write something.
- Keep a notebook handy. I keep a notebook in my purse to jot down notes as they come to me. When waiting at a doctor’s office, or even on the phone, I keep a pen at hand to write should an idea come to me. If not a notebook, get a voice recorder. My cell phone has one, and this helps with ideas and reminders.
- Accept that writing breaks are as important as the actual writing time. Not writing can actually help a writer by providing input from reading, TV, news, radio, friends, family, and any other avenue for ideas and inspiration. Stepping back from your manuscript or article also allows fresh eyes and fresh mind to reread and pick up on mistakes you might otherwise have glossed over.
- Use music. I have playlists on my computer to help inspire, but also help to shut out the world. A fellow writer I know owns a headset specific to shutting out the noise of her children and husband. Her family understands that when she has those on her head, to let her be.
Most important tip is to just write. Even if you write nothing but garbage, the idea gets onto paper (or pixel) and you can edit later.