How to find time for your writing

I was chatting with a client recently. She wanted to write. She needed to write. But you know how it is. She was busy. Writing was hard. She didn’t have the time.

Her eyes lit up as she spoke about the stories she had to share, but they clouded as she followed up with excuses about why she didn’t have the time for her writing. It’s a common dilemma. So how do you overcome it? How do you find the time for your writing?

Firstly, if helping people with your business is important to you, you need to quite simply make the time to tell your story. You need to see your excuses for exactly what they are – cop-outs that are stopping you from spreading your magic. You never know what goodness may result from you sharing your stories with the world – what people you may help, what work you may win, what connections you may make.

But how do you make the time, I hear you ask? Borrow a corporate productivity technique – time blocking. Quite simply dedicate blocks of time to writing. Blank out good chunks of your calendar as times for no interruptions or distractions. You may need to get up earlier to fit in those times, stay up later or write on your lunch break.

Treat those times like the important appointments that they are. During your writing appointments, turn off email, phone and social media, sit down and write. When your appointment time arrives, make yourself sit there for the allotted time to write, do nothing, stare out the window, whatever – but sit there for the full time, no excuses. And don’t let yourself leave your seat until that time is up – regardless of whether you’re happy with what you’re writing, regardless of whether you think it sounds like crap. You’ll soon find that, if you have to sit there, you may as well start writing. Just get words on paper. And the more you write, the more flow you’ll find.

You may also wish to borrow a gorgeously romantic idea from the author Liz Gilbert of Eat Pray Love fame. On her podcast Magic Lessons, Gilbert advises buying a traditional hour glass and using it during your allotted writing time. Turn over the hour glass and stay at your desk, attempting to write, until the sands finish pouring through.

It could be an hour a day, an hour a week – whatever you can squeeze in. But make your writing appointments, stick with them and slowly you’ll find your story unfold before you.

TASK – Now, right now, get out your diary and block time for writing. It may be one hour a night, twice a week after the kids are in bed, or two hours on Friday mornings – whatever works for you. Then, quite simply, keep your writing appointments.

Want more help to find time and tell your story? Check out the six-week online course Authentic storytelling for purpose-driven solopreneurs.

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