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I'd Like to Buy 2 Extra Hours, Please.

As we create the framework within which to do our writing, one of the biggest questions at hand is – how to find the time to write? Time is finite. There is a limited amount available each day. However, time does not discriminate. It gives the same exact amount to everyone.

I think of time the same way I think of money. You have income that you use for obligations and responsibilities, and what is left (disposable income), you get to spend as you please. Ditto for time. After fulfilling your daily obligations, you have a chuck of disposable time left to spend as you please. Time, like money, is better managed if you know exactly how much you have and exactly where it is going.

When I begin a new writing project, I take a piece of paper and at the top I write down the time I wake up, and at the bottom of the page, I record the time I go to bed. Then I fill in all of the hours in between with what I do and approximately how much time each activity takes, i.e., eating breakfast, commuting, actual time on the job, etc. Once I have this information on paper before me, I can get a clearer sense of how much disposable time I have, and how I am spending it. Then, I determine how much time I can reasonably allocate each week day to writing, AND, more importantly, how much time I am willing to commit to writing each day.

Take a look back at your schedule and see the best time of day to schedule your writing. It would be best to try and write the same time every day to develop the habit of writing. Later, if you want to dedicate more time to writing, take a look back at your daily schedule and see where you can tweak it to steal more time for your writing. Do you need to cut back on your gaming or television time, or wake up a half hour earlier, possibly?

Again, you cannot manufacture more time, but you can maximize the time you have by being more intentional about how you are using it.


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