This post, by Bear Weiter, originally appeared on Booklife.
I’m not a write everyday kind of guy. I wish I was, and I have been at times (working on a novel seems to bring that out of me). I read comments from other writers who put in at least a few hours every day (if not more), working on their craft. I kid myself at times by thinking “they’re professional writers, that’s their job,” and while there’s a kernel of truth there, I know they all suffer from the same hecticness and interruptions as I.
The ideal is just that—writing for several hours a day, uninterrupted, churning out so many thousands of words at each sitting. During these times there would be no email, or phone calls, and no other projects demanding their share of time.
The reality for most of us is that life can’t be put on hold. There’s family, and work, other commitments, and other distractions. For me specifically, I work for myself—which means I need to be responsive to clients if I wish to continue working for myself. My work is full of ups and downs (busyness wise), and when I’m busy it’s best that I remain busy.
It is during these times when you need to realize what your priorities are. Is writing—or some other creative endeavor—critical to you? Is it worth sacrificing at least a little time to keep it going? I assume if you’re reading this then it is—I know it is for me.
There’s the big solutions—organize your time, plan, prioritize, keep lists, block out your calendar, etc. Or, you can take smaller steps—take snippets of time from other activities: write while watching TV (if this is family time, join in on the TV watching but wear headphones so you can focus on your work), while eating breakfast or lunch, during your commute (please not while driving!), in bed before falling asleep or when you just get up. Steal a half an hour here, an hour there, whatever you can get away with.