Making the Time to Write

Claudie Arseneault/ December 15, 2011/ Writing/ 4 comments

Every distraction not to write is a good one. Including this blog post. And the truth is, as writers, we often are professionals at finding the distractions. We allow them to take away from our writing time, and at the end of the week, we complain about our lack of progress.

I’d know. I spent the entire semester doing that. At least my distractions were writing-for-classes, so while my current WIP didn’t progress, I did.

But in our last class, my teacher told us his story, and made me realised how far you could go into making time, if you really wanted to. I don’t say it’s healthy. I don’t say we should all do the same. But it’s interesting to know, and it pushes me to find my own limit.

Here was his schedule:

Wake at 6 am. Prepare and go to work. Work from 9 to 5. Arrive at home, sit down, write. Write until 7-8, have dinner. Write more. At midnight, have a cup of coffee. Write until 3 am. Sleep 3 hours. Rinse and repeat.

This reminds me of my NaNoWriMo beat in 2009 and 2010. I’d write 200k a month and believe me, by the end I was a laughing, hysterical mess. I’m not sure how long he pulled it off. A couple of months, at the very least. Probably more. It paid back, because now he lives comfortably from his writing.

I have no intention to kill off my precious 4-5 hours of sleep. They are needed for my sanity. And while it might fit under “distractions”, I intend to keep seeing my boyfriend on weekends. But take a look at your schedules, guys. Where can you fit extra writing hours? Take them. Screw the internet. Screw your friends, even! Get your writing done.


  1. Hi, my name is TL/Tricia, and I have a Twitter addiction… 🙂

    All jokes aside, I have lost even MORE possible writing hours now that I’m really trying to focus on a M, W, F blog schedule AND play on Twitter. It’s to the point where I’m now following and blogging at work (which is fine, in secret moderation), but it is now a problem.

    I need to find a way to disconnect because I should be using any “mindless” time at work to think about my story, not to check my Twitter feed or blog roll.

    I need an internet intervention, STAT.

    1. Oh boy, do I feel you. I lose most of my time on twitter now, since I’ve cut through the blogging so much. It’s good. I don’t want to spend more than 2 hours a week writing those. I love the blogging world, and connecting, but I have to get my priorities straight. I know *when* I want to start publishing, and if I set my heart to it, I think it’s a reasonable time-scale (it’s not anywhere close, either).

      Oh, and cut twitter when you write, unless you’re sprinting. It *really* helps. 😛

  2. I don’t think I could give up sleep, but I’ve given up quite a few other things. Television is maybe an hour a night on weekdays, maybe two hours a night on weekends. Video games are a no-no right now, while I’m trying to keep the momentum going. Outings with friends that don’t actually sound like a lot of fun…I’m turning those down now. If I’m behind schedule, I will even turn down the ones that do sound fun–more motivation not to let myself fall behind. Of course, I’m lucky in that I don’t have kids. I am, however, coming to a point of having to acknowledge I need a maid a couple of times a month.

    1. Haha, you stopped cleaning in order to write, too? (although I can’t talk. My room is in a sorry state because of NaNo + exams + me being me).

      I’ve stopped TV entirely except for one evening: every week I go to mom’s and we either watch TV shows, or movies, or just talk. And I’ve skipped the meeting twice in order to finish school-related writing. I’ll play video games as 20-30 minutes break from long hours of studying/writing, except on weekends. When the boyfriend is there, we do a lot more. It’s where I could find the most writing time, and I’m not sure I want to that bad. Weekends are short enough already.

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