Vision: A Resource for Writers

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Advice for Young Writers:

No Time to Write

By Elizabeth Chayne
Copyright © 2009 by Elizabeth Chayne, All Rights Reserved

A long day of classes, followed by two to three hours of extracurricular activities, plus the history report that's due tomorrow? Writing's probably the last thing on your mind.

For teenage (and adult as well!) writers, the biggest problem with having writing as a hobby/semi-profession is the lack of writing time. How can you squeeze writing time in? What if you don't have anything to write on the rare occasions you do have time to write?

Evaluate Your Schedule

Keep a record of how your time is spent for a week. Look to see if there are any "down" times, like the ten minute wait for dinner every evening. You may think that any time period less than half an hour is too short for writing in, but sometimes the pressure of time helps to simulate the imagination. Writing something everyday is always better than never writing anything.

Don't Lose Your Inspirations

Great story ideas often pop into the mind at non-optimal moments: during the bus ride to school, in the middle of math class, perhaps even when you're taking an exam! Too often, when writers find themselves unable to write their stories out at once, they make a mental note to "do it later," with the unfortunate result that when they do have time to write, they've forgotten the idea. Therefore, it's a good idea to keep a notepad and pen with you at all times, so you'll be able to capture the ideas and remember them later. (During the exam, though, just take the exam!) Then, when you have time to write, all you have to do is flip out your notepad to find topics. You won't be sitting in front of your desk trying to come up with something worth writing about while minutes of your precious spare time tick by.

Make Time

Sounds easy to say, doesn't it? As if time were something you could "make" by mixing eggs and sugar.

Many adult writers who have full-time jobs often find it necessary to get up early in the morning just so they can have some more time to write. Other popular times are late at night (but not too late—you still need to get up for school tomorrow!), and weekends. Or you can multitask: write while you're waiting for your favorite TV show to come on, for example.

Be Prepared For Interruptions

You're a busy person with many responsibilities, so inevitably, people will ask you to do things when you're just settling down to write. Be prepared to deal with these interruptions. Find out if it can be done later, or if it really is too urgent to be put off.

Ultimately, writing is something that improves with doing. If you make time to write, you will get better, and you'll feel good about all those filled-up pages too.

Further Reading

A blog post with more tips about finding time to write.