Business writing

5 tips for creating time to write

- November 23, 2016 2 MIN READ

‘If it’s not in the schedule it won’t get done.’ That’s the technique Katie McMurray has applied to ensuring she always has time to write … a technique you’ll be inspired to use too.

“It’s My Writing Day.”

I marched down the road to my internal chant.

“It’s My Writing Day.”

I walked past the bank, remembered my new business account is missing its money … and continued past without walking in.

“It’s My Writing Day.”

I glance at myself in the hairdresser’s window and note their empty chairs. “It’s My Writing Day,” I tell my messy-haired reflection.

A few months ago I instituted My Writing Day. On that day, my diary has the hours of 9am to 1pm completely blocked out for time to write. Given I run a writing program for business owners and ask them to blog every two weeks, I can do no less. I need to walk my talk.

I must also stick to the principles I teach, around writing structure, style and length.

Far from imprisoning me, this schedule and structure is liberating. I am now free to write.

And I have learned to say “No, that’s My Writing Day.”

I’ve said it over and over in the past few months. At first it was hard, like a new language I spoke but didn’t understand. Once I began to use my allocated day for time to write, however, the words meant so much more. I discovered my writing day was worth protecting.

It’s easy to let life carry on as usual. It’s easier to say yes than no and very hard to institute any new habits or activities. Our daily schedules look more like inter-planetary flight plans; no room for diversions.

So here are my five best tips for creating your perfect Writing Day:

  1. Have the time to write booked ahead in your diary. Use the same time each week or each fortnight.
  2. Protect the time. Tell people you have a writing day and explain that’s why you are not available. Your Writing Day matters!
  3. Choose a location away from where you usually work. I use a local café or park.
  4. Turn off your phone and internet. Yes, it’s tempting but you need focus.
  5. Give yourself an hour to relax and read to get the juices flowing, an hour to get your thoughts together and an hour to write your draft.

It’s an act of defiance to carve room for anything new or different, especially if it doesn’t return a quick buck or fun buzz.

Two weeks ago I missed My Writing Day.  I look in my diary now and can’t see what I did that day. I probably succumbed to a to-do list that was starting to overwhelm me. Because I didn’t write that day, I turned up to my own monthly webinar, which I run for my clients, without my own blog post written.

If I want to write I must carve the time and protect it like a guard. We can’t ask muse to sweep the stage and clean the curtains as well as dance. Set the stage for your writing.

I need to stop blaming everyday stuff for getting in the way of writing. Instead, I will change my every day so writing knows it’s welcome.

Do you have a writing ritual? How do you find time to write in your busy life?