Writing When You Don’t Have Time to Write: 5 Tips


Not having time to write is the #1 reason for not writing that I hear from aspiring writers. If you’re in the same boat, try applying one of the following tips to generate a few more words in a day.

Get up earlier

While you may have heard this tip so many times that it’s practically a cliché, it’s often recommended for a reason. Getting up early to write is a great way to prioritize your writing as a regular part of your life and get those words out before the pressures of the day take away your time and motivation.

Use syncing writing apps

This is important so you don’t have to chain yourself to your desk to write your novel. Get an app (or a few) that allows you to write on your phone, tablet, and desktop without needing to constantly send yourself documents. You can go as simple as opening a Google doc and working on it on whatever technology you have to hand, or you can get a product like Ulysses or EverNote to keep your novel notes and chapters in one place.

Embrace unusual places and times to write

Once you have a writing app that syncs across devices, you can write wherever you are. Taking a bathroom break? Add a few sentences to your last paragraph! Stuck on the subway? That’s writing time! Standing in line at the bank? You get the drift.


Schedule time to write

One way to fit writing into your busy life is to schedule it in and treat it with as much respect as an appointment with your lawyer or doctor. When you start scheduling time in to write your novel, don’t go nuts right at the beginning and schedule an hour every single day along with your full-time job and kids; start with half an hour in a week. Get yourself in the habit of keeping those appointments and then start to build up the time from there.

Give up something else

If writing is important to you, think about what you can give up to have the ability to devote more time to it. And I’m not talking about something big here – could you push something a bit later in the day to make room for you to write? Could you give up a little sleep (see point 1)? Could you let someone else take the kids to hockey practice one night a week? Look at your life and where you could fit in a little writing time and space.

What other tips do you use to make more time in your busy life? Let me know in the comments!

Good luck, and happy writing!


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