Making Time to Write

Welcome to the twelfth and final installment (for now) of From the Writing Desk! Cue intro! Wait, I don’t have an intro. So in this post, I’m going to be talking about making time to write. Ironic, considering I’m barely a month into my six month long break from reality. So I have all the time in the world right now. But, in another five months, I’ll be joining the workforce. So that means I’ll have to take a huge hit on my writing time, so in preparation for that, I’ve thought about this problem.

First of all, a look at my current writing schedule. I post four blog posts each week as of last month and aim to continue doing so for the duration of my break, but I’m writing more than four blog post each week, to help create a buffer for myself, as I have tendency to go into slumps of decreased productivity. That, and hopefully it will create a safety net for myself while I try to find my feet when I start to work full time.

Besides writing blog posts, I’m also writing a novel. I write five thousand words every week, so that’s about an hour or two’s work every weekday. I do any catching ups I need during the weekends. However, next year will be different, as I don’t intend to write any new novels. Maybe a short story here and there, but I’ll be focusing my efforts on revising the six books I’ve completed so far. Hopefully I’ll have something to query by the end of next year. Fingers crossed.

So that’s a lot of writing I’m currently doing, something I’ve only been able to keep up because of I’m relatively flexible schedule as a postgrad, and now as a NEET.

The following are some tenets that I will be holding on to next year, and I already have to some extent, it’s just not really challenged yet.

  • Prioritize Writing

I’ll be giving writing a very high priority in my life. Work will have to come first, I just hope I don’t get called for a lot of overtime. Sleep is important too. Being sleep deprived just jams the gears in my brain. I’ll have to balance writing with spending time with my family and friends. But I think I’ll able to do that part rather easily. The hardest would be do sacrifice some me time, like listening to podcasts, watching YouTube videos, playing games and yes, even reading books. I’ll probably only have four hours every weekday. I’ll make sure to set aside five hours total during the weekdays for writing.

  • Plan outside my writing time

Next, I’m going to plan and outline what I’m going to write before my writing time. I hope to able to find sometime during work, like lunch breaks or commute time, to think about what I want to write and do some research, so that I wouldn’t waste time figuring what to write during the actual writing time.

  • Creating a plan and sticking with it

I’ll have to come out with a better plan, or schedule, in tackling the things I want to do. I only have a limited number of free hours per week, so I’ll need to spend it wisely. I’ll need to focus on several things, so managing that time needs to be something I’m consciously doing. And I’ll need to set aside time for me to unwind, otherwise I’ll just be killing myself. If time is not enough, I’ll need to figure out what to cut back. Maybe the number of blog posts per week, or hours I spend gaming.

  • Learn to take advantage of smart devices

I have the wordpress app on my phone and my iPad, so I’ll need to start to learn to use them to write blog posts. And more importantly, I’ll need to learn to be able to write something down and then pause my train of thought before continuing later on. By learning to do this, I’ll be able to make use of small breaks and free time here and there throughout the day to write.

Those are the few principles I hope to abide by when the time comes. Do you have any recommendations on how to make time to write? If you do, let me know! I love to know how you make time to write, especially those of you who are already working full time.

That’s all from me. Happy writing!

 

 

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11 thoughts on “Making Time to Write

  1. Wow! You really have thought out how and when to spend your time for writing. I understand what you meant when you said you prepare more blog posts as a buffer. I’m trying to do that now myself by piling up book reviews. I suppose during this six weeks, you’ll be living the daily life of an author. Have you thought of publishing your novels?? I have tried writing a novel once but I guess I sort of lost motivation to continue with it. I’m more into writing short stories. How do you plan your characters? Do you prepare a detailed profile for them before you start writing or do you think of it as you continue to write?

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    • Haha. Still remains to be seen if I can keep to it. I have thought about publishing, not sure how feasible it is though. The local English book publishing doesn’t look so great and doing it overseas feels like it’s going to be a huge challenge. What’s your thoughts on that?
      I suck at writing short stories, the least I ever did was a shorter novella.
      I tend to write a short bio about who the characters are and where they came from, just to kind of inform me of their motivations and then I just add to it as I write. I usually weave them into the plot but try to add a thing or two for them outside the plot. That said, I think characters are my weakest point, so I might have to rethink how I do it. What about you? How do you plan your characters?

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      • It’s true that the local English publishing isn’t that great. Perhaps you can try the publishing companies in Singapore. Or maybe turn it into an ebook? There’s little profit but you can let people know about your books. There’s also the option of publishing it publicly on Wattpad.
        I work on my characters’ appearance first befor

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      • *before I work on their personality. I found a list of questions online to answer as I plan each character which prompts me to imagine how they would react in certain situations. That said, I believe settings are my weakest point because it’s not easy to describe places and surroundings. How about you? Where do you draw inspiration for your settings?

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      • Singapore would be a good option. Ebook might a good one, though I’m not sure I have the ability to promote and market on such a crowded platform. I think that’s something to worry about after I’ve actually written something publishable. Haha. Wattpad is something I’ve considered, but for web serialization. I was thinking of doing one, but I don’t think I have the work ethic to consistently deliver a good quality chapter every week or so. Though I suppose posting a finished work there could be a good option too.
        That’s a good way of doing it. Another thing I’ve heard of is to apply the Myers Briggs personality indicators on the characters. I usually draw my inspiration from history and/or pictures/movies. Games with cameras that follow the character can be pretty useful as you move around a space and look around the environment. For example, a novel I’m planning is taking inspirations from Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, which is set in 1800s London. I think short stories can skimp a little on setting? Since stories and characters are usually the focal point.

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      • Yeah, that’s true. Short stories usually descibes the setting only if it’s essential. Using the Myers Briggs personality indicators? How do you do that? There’s only 16 personality traits there, I think.

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  2. This was such a great post, thank you for sharing 🙂 I have to admit, making time to write is one of my biggest struggles, always have been. My fingers and my brain’s itching to write, and / or to get back to edit my latest NaNoWroMo draft, but I just can’t make enough time, or maybe I need to be more organized in order to do so. I just get the itch, but I can’t start writing because something always comes up. I’m hoping to establish some kind of organization like you 🙂

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    • Thanks 🙂 I think the best way to make sure you write is to make your writing time sacred, thought admittedly, some times it’s just impossible to make it so. I’m only able to do it because I’ve a lot of time and no responsibilities to challenge it. Hopefully I’ll be able to maintain it when the challenges do come.

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  3. What matters is you have a plan, and you’re working at it now before life gets a chance to challenge you. The next big thing is commitment. It’s the most important aspect of the craft. You’re going to be challenged. You’re going to have other demands on your life and your time. Whatever happens, stay committed to your goals. (Everyone has to be flexible, but those benchmarks are critical.) If you say, “I will write 5,000!” Then do it because the one time you don’t, you’ll make an excuse. Then you’ll use that same excuse over and again. Just don’t forget that’s all it is. Your plan is solid, and you seem aware of what challenges are heading your way. Whatever you do, keep at it. The world always needs another good story.

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    • That’s a good point. I tend to write more than my usual 5,000 so that I can “afford” to miss a week. But ultimately, that’s just a psychological trick that keeps me motivated and doesn’t stress me out when something comes up and I’m not able to write for a week. Staying ahead of the goal feels better than rushing to catch up, at least that’s how I feel personally. Thanks for your kind words 🙂

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