Let me guess.
You’re not writing because you don’t have time.
It’s hard when you want to write but you have a full-time job, kids and family to take care of.
But don’t worry. I got your back.
Here are eight ways you can get more writing done, even if you only have a few minutes a day.
1. Use mental cues that will help you develop the habit of writing
Developing the habit of writing is the number one way you can get more writing done.
Writing muscles get stronger through deliberate, consistent practice.
Use cues that will tell your brain it’s time to write. Attach writing with something you already to automatically.
Some of your habits might be: brushing your teeth, drinking tea, morning prayer or meditation.
Attach writing with these habits. Write right before or after you do these, don’t try to sneak in other tasks in between them. If you decide to write right after a prayer, do so. Don’t make your coffee just yet, don’t make the bed just yet.
This will help you develop the patterns and will lead you to develop the habit.
This isn’t easy. Give yourself some time to experiment. Maybe you write better with coffee, or maybe you write better after a shower.
The key is to give yourself some time to adjust. Establishing a habit takes time and effort.
2. Focus on tasks that move the needle
Know what your writing goals are and determine which tasks are most important in achieving your goals.
Be careful with busyness. Avoid tasks that only distract you from the actual work which is writing.
Busyness only makes you feel productive because you’re doing a lot of things but in reality, you’re running in circles. If it doesn’t move the needle towards your goals, don’t do them yet.
For example, don’t research a book cover designer when you hadn’t finished your book yet. Your book cover is important, but only after you finish your book.
3. Make use of waiting time as writing time
Write on your commute to and from work. (As long as you’re not the one driving.)
Do you wait in line for coffee or lunch? Write.
If you think about all the time you spend lining up and waiting, these small minutes add up! If you sit on a train for hours in a day, write during these times. You can use your mobile phone to write.
You can write down your thoughts or ideas while waiting in line. (Banks are the best writing places, I noticed. Not noisy, air-conditioned, comfy seats, and no wifi.)
4. Say No
Say no to things that distract you from writing.
Maybe you’re watching too much TV? Or maybe you need to uninstall apps or games that seem to siphon all your attention.
Learn to assess how you use your time and decide which things are important or not.
I’m not saying you don’t do fun things. By all means, have fun! Go watch that K-drama. But know when to stop.
If you’re not writing you should be reading. Don’t just read how-to books. Read both fiction and nonfiction. Fiction can teach you about storytelling, and nonfiction can give you a well of knowledge you can draw upon.
If you feel you’re having writer’s block, it could be because you’re not reading enough.
6. Use social media wisely
Social media can be a total distraction. But not if you know how to use it to your advantage. There are two social media channels I use that help me with writing.
Follow Pinterest boards about picture prompts.
You can use Instagram to write poems or short stories, or simply journal your thoughts. Use apps like Textgram.
You can also take advantage of the description area to write your thoughts about a photo you took.
7. Write down lists of ideas
Download note taking apps on your phone so you can write down ideas. There’s a smaller chance for writer’s block if you write down your ideas.
My favorite note taking app is Drafts. I love its simplicity. There are many others out there that you can check out with different features and capabilities. I just love Drafts because it’s so simple.
This is my favorite. Journaling has changed not only my writing life. Years ago, journaling helped me with in dealing with grief.
Not sure what to write about? Get a journal and free write. Write whatever comes to mind. Don’t edit yourself, don’t worry if what you write doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t have to be.
Write about your fears, your goals, or simply describe your day.
Or write to yourself and tell her your plans.
Sometimes I start with “Dear God,” and then what I write morphs into a prayer. It’s a liberating feeling when you can just be yourself, not thinking about what others might think about your thoughts.
My favorite apps for journaling are Journey app and Penzu. What I like about Journey is, it shows a calendar and marks the days you wrote. So when you see a streak it’s an added motivation to continue writing.
There are much more ways on how to get more writing done. The key is, don’t let yourself believe that you don’t have time to write. Or that you don’t know what to write about.
You’re a writer. You know you have lots of things you want to say.
So grab every opportunity you have to write. Because the world needs to hear your message.