In these days of work, family, community and other commitments, time is a precious commodity.
The reality is, you need to make time for writing if you are committed to your craft and projects.
I personally encourage people to write for 30 minutes a week, and to break that into 10 minute increments if necessary.
While that may not seem like a lot of time, you would be amazed at how much you can accomplish in 10 minutes of focused time.
To help time-strapped scribes achieve HUGE writing goals, following are five creative ways to squeeze writing into your busy schedule.
1. Commercial Breaks
Studies show that the average American watches 4 hours of TV per week. While I don’t know how many of those viewers are writers, I do know that most people have at least one “can’t miss” TV show per week.
There are generally four ninety-second commercials in a typical one hour show. Assuming you take time to write during these commercial breaks, you are guaranteed at least 5 minutes of writing time in that hour.
I love ABC’s Scandal. As soon as a commercial comes on, I mute the television and get to drafting. The purpose is to get as much on paper during those commercial breaks as possible. If you’re an avid TV watcher or a couch potato (there is a difference), you should have more than 10 minutes of writing time.
Another benefit to writing while watching TV: use those plots and story lines as writing prompts for your projects.
2. Boring Meetings and Presentations
We all have attended meetings and presentations that were absolute snoozers. Depending on how crafty you are and how long the meeting is, you can get a lot of writing done. This is also a way to stay awake.
I have written many drafts and partial articles through long, boring presentations. The key to doing this successfully is to look like you’re taking notes. People will be watching you and wondering what you’re writing. People often approach me after meetings stating, “You took a lot of notes.
3. Breaks Between Household Chores
There are several chores that require breaks where you can sneak in a few minutes of writing. Two such chores are laundry and mopping.
Throw in a load of clothes and write until the load stops, and do the same for drying. Repeat for each load. As for mopping, write while you wait for the floor to dry.
4. Commute on Public Transportation
If you have to ride a bus, train, cab or trolley for 10 minutes or more, use that time to write. You’ll have even more time if you are commuting during rush hour. People often look at me because I’ll put out a pen and paper while standing up. Most people are talking on or tinkering with phones, listening to music or reading electronic books and I’m standing up with pen and paper.
I often wonder if they are looking at me because I’m standing up and writing or if I still use pen and paper…
5. Bathroom Break
I know this may be a little awkward (and maybe even disgusting) for some people but take your writing tools to the bathroom with you. Many people are inspired by their time in the washroom.
Many writers say that inspiration hits in the shower. You need to have pen and paper close by to jot those ideas. As for other moments of inspiration, I’ll let your imagination flow, but you get when I mean.
Although doing this in public restrooms is weird, it’s still time to be productive.
If you are a time-strapped scribe who feels like have no time to write, I just provided five creative ways to squeeze writing into your schedule. Granted, some of them are unusual, and even weird. But I assure you, if you develop a habit of doing at least one of these things once a week, you will have achieved a huge writing goal in small chunks of time.