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Just Write

Even though I love to write, I can think of about a million and one excuses for why I’m not writing. Writers are often skilled procrastinators, too, you know.

Back in July, J.C. Hutchins wrote an incredible blog post that got the attention of many, including myself, in the online writing community called: Are You Writing, Or Talking About Writing?

Wow.

Just the title stopped me in my tracks as I glumly nodded my head. Guilty as charged. I love to talk about writing. It’s one of my favorite things to talk about. I eagerly tell friends and family that it’s my goal to write a novel. It’s my dream to walk in a bookstore and see my name and labor of love sitting on the shelf for all to see. Sometimes I spend too much time thinking, reading and blogging about writing that I forget to take the time to actually write!

My biggest issue right now is figuring out how to make time for writing (although this is probably the worst excuse of them all!) and figuring out what time of day my writing is at its best and I’m feeling most creative. After graduating from school in May and transitioning into a 8-5 job, I’m just starting to feel completely adjusted to my new schedule.

I wake up around 6:15 (so waking up any earlier to get some writing in really isn’t a feasible option for me unless I think I can legibly write my my eyes half open). I head to work from about 7:45ish to 5:15ish. I do a lot of writing for my job, which I absolutely love, but sometimes I find it difficult to come home and start doing my own personal writing because my brain needs a break. I recently joined the gym and I came home tonight after my workout and sort of got a second wind, so I’m planning on trying my hand at writing after the gym.

Some authors work best when they write on a strict schedule. Others, like Allison Winn Scotch scatter writing throughout their day and their schedule often depends on what point they are at in the writing process.

John Scalzi recently posted:

Well, look. Either you want to write or you don’t, and thinking that you want to write really doesn’t mean anything. There are lots of things I think I’d like to do, and yet if I don’t actually make the time and effort to do them, they don’t get done.

The truth is, writing can be done at any time. There will never be a perfect time or place to write. Even though I’d like to figure out a nice schedule to get myself into, to make writing a habit, I acknowledge that I’ll probably stray from the schedule. Writing a novel can’t be tied into a neat little bow.

Writers make time for writing. It’s what they do. Some have schedules. Some carry notebooks and jot down scenes in the supermarket. Some write late into the night fueled by coffee. Others write while the rest of their families sleep and the sun is rising.

There is no clear-cut equation for finding the time to write. Unfortunately, there’s no easy answer. Every writer is different.

It doesn’t matter when you do it, as long as it’s getting done. Just write. These are the words I’ll be repeating to myself everyday: just write.

When do you write? Tell me a little bit about your personal writing schedule, if you have one.

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11 thoughts on “Just Write”

  1. Early mornings are out for me, too — and late nights don’t really appeal to me anymore! (Am I getting old?) I find that when I settle down to actually work on my novels, I do my best writing shortly after lunch. I know there are hours still to come just waiting to be filled, and I feel very productive when I finish my meal and then hunker down with a Diet Coke and pristine white Word screen. Though I’ve been bad about that lately, that’s usually my best formula for writing success!

    1. I know! No early mornings and no late nights! When does that leave me time? Very cool that you are able to discipline yourself to sit down and get writing done in the afternoon. How do you manage that with work though?

      1. When I bring my lunch to work (a great way to save money, though I don’t do it nearly enough!), I try to save a half hour or so just to write. Knowing that I only have a half hour tends to make me more productive — and more likely to stay put and type away. Sometimes with hours stretching out before me, it’s easy to procrastinate.

  2. Good post. Writers write. Period. Me, I tend to alternate between early mornings and evenings. I do the mornings before I hit the day job, but sometimes that will wear me out. If that happens and I end up sleeping in one day, I pick it up in the evening. The cycle will usually reset on the weekend when I can balance the sleep out again. That being said, it’s still tough, but keep at it. I write a lot for my job as well (I’m a technical writer by day) but you GOTTA sit down in the chair and do it if you ever plan on seeing your name on that shelf one day. Good luck to you.

    1. Thanks so much for the comment and sharing your writing schedule. I should try waking up early one day and see how it goes (although I don’t anticipate it going well!). You’re completely right though that if you want to see your name on shelves, you need to do it, whether you’re tired or not.

  3. I write best in the morning but can’t always get myself up early. I’m trying to work an hour of writing in every morning but I’m not there yet. Right now, I’m more inspired at night — after I’ve gone to bed — probably because its finally quiet.

    Good luck in your pursuit! I’m doing the same.

    1. I can’t even imagine dragging myself out of bed any earlier. Kudos to you! I think nights will probably work out to be best for me.

      Thanks for visiting 🙂

  4. I tend to write when I’m on the go. One of the things I did during grad school (f/t work, f/t school and f/t mommy) was to write/study during my commute to and from school, to and from work plus my lunch break. Since school was over, I’d wake up early to write before getting kiddo up for school, then some during my lunch hour and during my travel for fieldwork (I do in-home therapy). I’m done at night time, so I really don’t write then. I usually do get inspired at work especially during quiet times, so I break out the flash drive to write a bit so I can get back to work without brooding on writing that I wanted to do. lol If you can write during your commute, take advantage. Use a small notebook/pen, laptop, even your cell phone (Crackberry-lover here!). Take brief notes and develop them after your workout. 🙂 Hope this helps and thanks for letting me share!

    1. I wish I could write during my commute! I drive to work and its only about ten-fifteen minutes away. I miss the days of taking the train! I loved that “me” time. I like the idea about jotting notes in my berry though, so thanks for that! 🙂

  5. I have this problem too! I COULD potentially get up an hour early, around 6:15 and start, but I feel like my brain just doesn’t work well that early. By the time I got coffee and really woke up, it’d be time to shower. I leave for work around 8 and get home between 7:30 and 8. By the time I get home, all I want to do is wind down and get ready for bed. I get a lot of reading done in the evenings, but I like alone, quiet time for writing. That’s why I find myself only writing every other weekend’ish. I finished my first draft of my book and all I want to do is get it done, I just need to make myself sit down and do it.

    1. We seem to be in similar situations! Mornings are too early and at nights I am WIPED out. I feel like such a faker, because a lot of people would say, “well if you really love it, you’d just do it.” And I want to say, YES I would..but honestly, like you said, my brain is basically mush when I get home from work. Not ideal for writing, no?

      Weekends are a good idea. I’d love to hear more about your first draft!

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Meet Jessica

I live by the saying “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone” and help others do the same to reach their biggest, brightest goals. Read my story here.

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