Writing tips for busy people

Life doesn’t stop for your writing schedule.

Whether you just started graduate school, a new job, or some other major life event, keeping writing a part of your daily schedule can sometimes feel impossible.

Here’s some tips that have helped me stay calm and write when I get super busy.

Overwhelmed? Break it up – When I think I’m too busy to write, it’s generally because I see a novel or a blog as some ginormous project that I can’t possibly finish given my current schedule. Yes, novels and blogs are time consuming projects, but even these become harmlessly manageable when rationalized into tiny pieces.

For example, if you can write an extra 100 words per day, that’s a 700 word blog article per week. You won’t be a world famous blogger anytime soon, but that’s enough to have a quality blog in a given niche. If you can bust out 100 quality words for your novel every day, you’d almost have a full length novel in a year. It would be a first draft, but who said you were trying to be Stephen King?

Make down-time your writing time – You're already busy, so any extra downtime might be too precious to your sanity to lose. However, if you are not reaching your writing goals, identifying some flexibility in your schedule is an easy way to fit writing into your day. If you take public transit to work, you can use that time to work on your writing. You can also make a lunch hour your new writing hour. An hour at the gym? Not my style, but you get the picture…

An hour early or an hour later – If you can’t seem to separate time for writing, try adding an hour to something else. When meeting friends for drinks, plan to arrive an hour early, hit up a nearby coffee shop, and get your write-on. Staying an hour or later at work can increase your writer’s productivity, and make you look better in front of your boss (Unless they monitor your computer usage. Given the economy, I wouldn’t test it).

Set Priorities – OK. So, if you have been following this blog, you may have realized I have been posting a ton of short articles, with a long article now and again. That’s because my goals are 1) to post something everyday, 2) create some content that’s SEO worthy, and 3) I don’t want to kill the fun of blogging. The whole of blogging for me is to improve my writing, and have an audience interested in my books when they are (eventually) finished. If you are super-busy, you need to set realistic expectations and define goals.

It’s gonna take time no matter what you do – I am someone who likes to squeeze a project until it’s either done or explodes. Unfortunately, writing isn’t that kind of project, which can be very discouraging (like, when you write a complete novel, and it sucks). If you miss a day or a week due to your schedule, just get yourself back on track as fast as you can. Great writing isn’t a sprint or a marathon, it’s a lifestyle. So stay calm, and write on!
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