Recently I had a dear friend ask, "Liz I find it so hard to write when I am dealing with so much in my personal and work life. How do I just put everything aside and take the time out to write?" I don't know if my answer would work for her or anyone else because we all use our own technique. However I do know that if I do not set the time aside in advance then I would never get any writing done.
When I wrote my first book 'If You Played In My Playground' I completed 13 Chapters or so on Mat Leave. When my Lil Captain was sleeping I would grab my paper and pen and write away. I also got a lot of writing done at night when the house was quiet. However, yes I do know what it is like to go through personal trials while trying to finish a book.
In the midst of my writing I went through a very painful separation / divorce and believe it or not, I did not pick up my pen to write for a year and a half. I could not bring myself to think about my childhood pain when I was dealing with my adult pain (lol). But that should not have been an excuse. I learned after that year and a half that the best time to write is when your going through trials and tribulations. It was and is the most therapeutic thing you could ever do. If your a writer of course.
I will share 3 things with you that I learned at Humber College while taking some writing courses a couple years ago:
1. Create a large calendar that you can hang up in the space you often write at and where you can see it in your face without having to look for it. From Monday to Sunday write down the times you will set aside to write. So if your going to write from 10pm-11pm on December 6, write it in the box. But you must try and keep the time consistent everyday.
2. The absolute best time to write is between 4am-6am. I know your probably thinking huh I am sound asleep! Set your alarm on and Just Do It!
3. Decide on the length of time you want to write for. Most of the best selling authors would set their daily agenda to write 30 minutes "everyday" and never miss a beat.
I am currently writing my second book, the sequel to my first one and I have been struggling with setting time aside to write only because I am also developing a self healing workbook that will go with the first book. But I realized this week that I have got to go back to my old method with the calendar. You have no idea how much it works. I even set my alarm last night to get up and write and I did :-)
Writer Jennifer Hudson Taylor says it best "I don’t have answers that will work for everyone, and at times, I don’t know how I did it. All I know is that prayer and faith gave me strength when I had none. When worry wanted to consume me, God prevailed and I was able to find a few moments here and there when my characters took me to another place in time. I mentally escaped.
When I couldn’t sleep, I wrote.
When I couldn’t concentrate, I put on earphones and lost myself in music that helped me escape to my time period.
When I was too tired to write, I slept, and ignored the guilt.
When my house became too suffocating, I went outside and wrote.
When my desk became the wrong place, I changed my environment by writing in the closet in the wee morning hours, on the steps, and wherever I could find a corner.
I didn’t worry about edits, writing with perfect research, or getting it perfect. I merely wrote and concentrated on getting the first draft down.
When the pain and confusion was too much, I prayed and cried out to God.
Remember, God is THE answer to everything—even writing through tragedies.
For Jennifer' full article log onto
Whatever you do just keeping on writing!