When it comes to New Year’s resolutions, writers may have added finding more time to write as a priority for 2020. The 9-5 workday is a myth, especially when most people return home from work five days a week where the stress sits in: traffic-heavy commute, picking up family from their activities, cooking a meal, eating that meal, cleaning up that meal, then perhaps getting a break via your Netflix account.
Time management is hard, but you can spend January trying to build your new and improved writing habit.
Pick an hour slot.
At a Women’s National Book Association Los Angeles literary tea last spring, The Ones We Choose debut author Julie Clark said she wakes up at 3:45 am every morning to write before heading out to work as a teacher. A single mother of two, she also added she’s in bed between 8-9 pm.
In Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder, Arianna Huffington mentions the “time famine,” or how we feel like we never have enough time to complete all the tasks we set aside for ourselves to do that day. Slowing down is key, she describes in the chapter called “Wisdom,” to survey what needs to be done.
Taking measured time for yourself can help you slow down and see which creative project can be tackled for the day.
“Our culture is obsessed with with time. It is our personal deficit crisis. We always think we’re saving time, and yet we feel like we never have enough of it.” – Arianna Huffington, Thrive
Or pick a word count.
According to writer’s lore, 1,000 words a day is the remedy to completing a draft of your novel. Yet it might still be hard to stick to that word count depending on your schedule and creative juice flow. So set your word goal. Like above with timing yourself, see how many words you can write within a measured amount of time. If you can write 1,000 words in an hour, then maybe try writing 500 words in a half hour because that’s all you can reserve for yourself.
Or pick a focus space.
You may need to find a base, an inspirational place that’s easily accessible. Surrounded by books at the library. Surrounded by plants in the garden. Laying on the blanket at the local park. Sitting up in bed under the blankets.
If you’re unable to sneak away, then work with what you got. Maybe the cafe near your workplace has turned out to be a great place to write. Maybe an ergonomic chair is answer to improving your comfort level while you’re writing.
Comment below if you’re trying to find the right time and place to write and if you’ve reached success.