How to Find Time to Write Your Book

goals habits productivity time management Apr 28, 2023
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Finding time to write a novel can be challenging. You may have a full-time job, a busy schedule, kids who need you...the list goes on! LIFE is busy, for all of us. But waiting for the "right time" to start writing your book is only going to keep you stuck. 

The truth is, there’ll never be a perfect time. You’ll never really be “less busy”. You probably had the same thought years ago, when you were in a different season of your life that seemed excessively busy at the time.

So instead of saying "I'll wait until...", here are a few strategies you can try to help you make time for your writing:

1. Create a writing schedule: Set aside specific times each day or week to work on your novel. It can be helpful to block out time on your calendar or planner to ensure that you prioritize your writing. The simple act of blocking out time gives you a sense of accountability too.

2. Make writing a habit: By making writing a regular part of your routine, you'll be more likely to stick with it. Start small by committing to writing for just 10 or 15 minutes a day, and gradually increase the amount of time as you get into the habit.

  • Be specific. Instead of saying “I’ll write in the morning” specify at what time and for how long.
  • Practice habit stacking. Stack this new desired habit on top of a habit you already do. For example, “At 7:30 I will make my morning coffee and then write for 40 minutes.”
    You’ll be so much more likely to do it, because it feels more like a strategized plan, and it comes right after something you already do naturally.
  • Make it easier on yourself. Meaning, prepare the night before by setting your laptop or pen & notebook out on the table so it’s already ready to go when you wake up. It’s staring you right in the face. Our brains get SO easily overwhelmed at the energy that every single task takes up. Even the simple task of finding your laptop and putting it on the table takes up mental energy! So by getting that out of the way the night before (if your goal is to write in the morning) you’ve already saved some energy and given yourself one less thing to do!
  • Check out Atomic Habits by James Clear for more great habit forming strategies!

3. Find your optimal writing time: Everyone has different times of day when they feel most creative and productive. Experiment with writing at different times of day to find what works best for you.

  • When I seriously started thinking about writing my first novel two years ago, my first thought was “When do I even have time?!” I had two toddlers who were both home with me all day and I had a full-time job (thankfully remote). I soon realized I had 2 choices - write in the morning before the kids wake up, or write at night after the kids went to bed. I’m NOT an early morning person, so I chose zoned-in late nights.

    Want to know the most effective thing I did? I gave up TV. Before you roll your eyes at me, hear me out! I used to unwind at the end of the day by watching TV. I decided to give that up, and I suddenly had so much time to write. And honestly, once I really got into my novel, I couldn’t WAIT for nighttime so I could continue writing.

4. Eliminate distractions: Try to create a writing environment that is free from distractions. Turn off your phone, close your email, and find a quiet space where you can focus.

  • If your goal is to write in the morning, know that it's okay to NOT check emails or social media as soon as you wake up. Those are two things that rob so much of your morning time, without you even realizing. For example, you might want to fit an hour of writing before you start work at 9:00 am, but then you stop to "quickly check your emails", find out Bath & Body Works is having their biggest sale on hand soaps, and then an hour realize you haven't written a single word and now it's time to log on to work. (Yes, that did just happen to me this morning, thus the detailed example).

5. Set realistic goals: Break your writing down into smaller, manageable goals. By setting achievable goals, you'll be more likely to stay motivated and make progress on your novel.

  • Without goal dates, it’s very easy to fall into the never ending cycle of constant revisions, doubts, procrastination, feeling like you’re not making any progress, etc.
  • Knowing you have a specific goal date will drive you towards it with ambition and clarity of what you’re accomplishing.
  • It’s a great alternative to the overwhelm of committing to writing a certain number of hours/words/pages every day.
  • Goals help overcome so many things that might be holding you back, including accountability, clarity, procrastination, and of course, time management.

Remember, the most important thing is to stay committed to your writing and make it a priority in your life. Just like you make time for every other important thing in your life. There IS time in your day you can carve out for writing - you just have to find it


Deep encouragement, mindset shifts, writing advice, actionable tips, and proven strategies to help you achieve your dream. You in?

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