1. ElaineXXAuthor99
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    ElaineXXAuthor99 New Member

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    Making Time to Write- Advice Needed!

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by ElaineXXAuthor99, Jul 22, 2016.

    Hi everyone!

    First off, I'd like to introduce myself as I'm new to this site. I'm Elaine and I live in the Orlando area, have self-published the first novel in a supernatural thriller trilogy and am in desperate need of advice and support from other authors/writers!

    I work full time in healthcare and also am finishing up my Bachelors in English. That doesn't leave much time for writing but I feel so frustrated that I can barely work on my 2nd novel! (When I wrote the first one, my life was a little different, I wasn't in school much of the time, wasn't in a relationship, didn't have much of a life in general so had plenty of time to write). Am I trying to do too much? It took me nearly two years to get out my first book and now I have friends/fans asking when the 2nd one will be out and the honest answer is, I have no idea because I have almost no time to write! I have the book (and the next one) all in my head and just no time to get it on paper. I am grateful that I don't find myself short on ideas and inspiration, in fact, it's the opposite. I am so passionate about writing which is why this is so frustrating. I would kill to be able to spend hours a day writing but quitting my job or cutting my hours is not an option for financial reasons.

    Has anyone else experienced this and do you think it's unreasonable to expect to work FT, go to school and finish a novel too? Am I just bad with time management? What do you do to make time?

    Thanks for reading and any opinions or thoughts are appreciated!

    Elaine
     
  2. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    What could you give up? TV? Time with friends? Time with family? Chores around the house? Internet? Another hobby?

    If you have none of those things to give up - you may not have time to write at the current time.

    If you have some you could give up but don't want to, it comes down to deciding what's more important. There's nothing wrong with not writing until things calm down.
     
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  3. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    If you can't fit it in just now, do like @BayView suggests and let yourself off the hook a bit. You sound as if your BA in English is nearly finished, so maybe tell yourself it's okay to wait till that's over. Unless you're planning on heading straight back for a Masters, that should free up some time and writing energy as well.

    You could also plan to write far less often, but regularly. Maybe get up early on weekends and write for an hour on Saturday morning and two hours on Sunday morning? That will keep your hand in without interfering too much with your other life. Of course this might mean going to bed a bit earlier than usual, but an hour earlier to bed gives you an extra hour in the morning to write.

    Let the significant others in your life know that writing is important to you. They need to give you the time and space you need to continue to write. You don't have to become a writing recluse—or rather you do, but hermiting for two or three hours a week shouldn't upset anybody's balance. And you'll be a much happier soul for having taken this time to yourself.
     
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  4. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    You have to have time in order to have time management. I remember working and going to school. Spare time was precious. I remember in the summer of 1982, I was taking 12 credits in summer session (4 nights a week from 6-10), plus working full time. I was also training for a half-marathon. The only way I was able to do it was to get up at 4:45 AM to run. Come home, shower, have breakfast, get dressed, go to work. Did reading for school on the train and at lunch. Home from work, quick dinner, off to school. Home from school, half hour to unwind (full hour on Thursday nights), then to bed. Three things happened: 1) I got straight As; 2) I got a top performance rating at work; 3) I ran a personal best half marathon. Of course, I was a lot younger, then.

    I don't know what your schedule is like, and working in healthcare is a lot more punishing than paying claims (my job in 1982). So YMMV. But if doable, the early morning hours can be a great resource, even if only for an hour.
     
  5. Simpson17866
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    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Schedule appointments for yourself that you will go someplace to write: library, café, doesn't matter. Start at 1 hour a day 1 day a week if you have to, but see how quickly you can get used to adding another hour or two here and there.
     
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  6. deadrats
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    deadrats Active Member

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    I don't think it's great to put your writing on hold. When I've done this, I always seem to come back a little rusty. Not that it's the end of the world, but if you can, try to fit it in. One thing you might want to do is see if you can get approved to do an independent study that would allow (and require) you to write while earning college credit. I had a friend in grad school do this to finish a novel. Plus, it would give you some great one-on-one time with another writer assuming you would go with one of the creative writing professors and not a lit professor. Anyway, just an idea for you.
     
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  7. bonijean2
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    bonijean2 Senior Member Supporter

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    Independent Study for a master's degree (English?) while completing a novel seems like a great idea! What works for me is to get up early before the rest of the world is awake and write, write, write.
     
  8. Vagrant Tale
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    Vagrant Tale Active Member

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    Get Dragon Naturally Speaking on your smart phone, and when you are driving or waiting around speak into it. If you do that as a timekiller in between appointments, you'll probably have your first draft in a month or two at the most. Then you can set aside some time once a month or so to format it into a text document.

    Bam! First draft despite having no time to write.
     
  9. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Are you actually able to write on Dragon? I find my brain just doesn't work well when I'm speaking - I need to be able to see the words as I'm writing them.
     
  10. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Set aside one hour a week to write, perhaps - almost everyone has that. If even one hour is not possible, then how about 30min? 10min? But set that time aside.

    It sorta depends on how much you can take, how well you cope etc. Decide what has priority in your life, and allow yourself some slack over the less important things. While writing is important, is it more important than your degree, relationship, or job? If you wanna fit writing in there anyway, would you be able to manage your stress levels and still function well? Or is that 30min or hour-long break essential to your well-being? For some it might be, for others it might not be. Now, you know what to do based on your answer.

    If you'd still function well, meaning perform well at your job, concentrate and complete assignments for your degree, engage and enjoy your time with your partner, then go ahead and fix that 1hour slot in your week for writing. We all have one hour in a week, I think.

    If your answer is no, an additional commitment would tip your stress levels to something that's just not worth it, based on your priorities, then cut yourself some slack and write your novel only once you've graduated and finally have entire evenings free. It's okay. Writing is important but there're others things that are more important in life.
     

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