Just because you can’t quit your day job or you care for your children full-time at home doesn’t mean you have to put your writing career on hold. Here are some tips.
You’ve always wanted to be a writer. However, you also have other commitments such as job and family. If you think you have to put your writing “on a shelf” until you have more time, take heart. Realize that extra nuggets of time won’t drop in your lap. You need to carve out the time, rather than wait for it to come to you. Here are some ideas for found time, whether you have a fulltime day job or work as a ‘round the clock mom (the most demanding job in the world).
Think Minutes Not Hours
Often would-be writers fret because they don’t have enough hours to devote to their craft. However, they fail to realize that minutes add up to hours. Instead of giving up on your writing because you can’t find an extra hour, consider all the extra minutes you could grab. It’s like ignoring loose change, instead of cleaning out your purse, deposit your coins in a piggy bank. Someday they’ll add up to dollars.
Always Carry Notepads and Pens
Just as an overseas traveler should always have his (or her) passport on his person, a writer should never be caught without pads, pens, or a portable word processor. You never know when you’ll get an opportunity to write or order an essay fast.
If you’re used to only writing with a keyboard, adjust your thinking. After all, how did some of the world’s greatest authors pen their classics before computers were invented?
Write While Waiting
Chauffeuring kids – If you’re a busy soccer mom who spends a lot of time waiting for your kids at soccer practice or other activities such as scouting or piano lessons, don’t just sit on the sidelines or in your car. Take notes. You can find inspiration just by watching people pass or happenings around you.
Appointments – When you’re waiting for a doctor’s appointment, you usually aren’t ushered into an examining room immediately. Besides using the time to write, you can flip through waiting room magazines for ideas for both your stories and nonfiction articles.
Children’s naptimes – Best-selling Christian novelist Denise Hunter began her first novel in 1996 while her children napped. Two years later her story was published. Writing ever since, she’s authored several best selling stories, including her newly released Kansas Brides
Work breaks and lunch hours – Rather than join in office gossip, use part of your lunch break to write. Brown bagging a lunch (rather than eating out) not only saves you money adds time to write.
Get Up an Hour Earlier
Just by setting your alarm clock for an hour earlier, you can give yourself found time. If you can’t function before that morning shot of caffeine, prepare (the night before) your coffeepot to brew, saving you a step in the morning. Or, if you’re not a morning person, then reverse the process and write an hour before going to bed. Just do what works best for you.
Look for Stories Everywhere
Train your mind to see a story in every TV program, as well as casual conversations, trips to the market or just observing people. As soon as an idea clicks, grab a pad and write it down so you won’t lose it.
Don’t Wait for Inspiration
Most of all, just write, even when you don’t feel inspired. The truth is that genius is 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration, as Thomas A. Edison once stated. In the words of the familiar ad for Nike shoes, “Just do it!”