When do you find the time to write and how do you stay inspired? This is a question that I hear a lot from our authors. In the grand tapestry of human existence, few threads are as universal and as potent as the written word. It is the lifeblood of communication, a tool that bridges gaps, connects minds, and facilitates the exchange of ideas. The power of writing is not limited to communication alone. It is an art form, a medium for self-expression, a refuge for the mind, a healing balm for the soul and more than anything, a chance to self-awareness.
Finding time for writing can be a challenge, especially for people juggling multiple responsibilities. But, with a little planning and inspiration, anyone can carve out time for this rewarding exercise. This article aims to give you a few easy steps to plan your writing time effectively and keep the flame of inspiration alive.
Plan your writing to unleash its healing powers
Writing is an act of courage, a bold endeavour to bring the hidden into light, the silence into high frequency, and the untold into form. It is the ultimate form of self-expression, where you paint portraits of your inner world with words, crafting narratives that resonate with your unique voice. When you write, you are not stringing words together; you are baring your soul, sharing pieces of yourself with the world.
Writing has therapeutic qualities- when writing hits you, it doesn’t hurt, it heals. Like a mirror, it reflects your innermost thoughts, emotions, and desires, helping you understand and process them. It is a form of self-expression, a way to unload your mental and emotional burdens, to heal from your wounds, and to find solace and peace. The act of translating abstract emotions and thoughts into concrete words can provide clarity, induce calm, and nurture self-discovery.
Just as we nourish our bodies with carefully selected foods at set times, we feed our minds and souls with thoughtfully curated words and ideas. We don’t just satiate our hunger; we enrich ourselves, fortify the spirit, and nurture the soul.
Picture this: a pen gliding on a paper, leaving a trail of ink that forms into words, sentences, paragraphs. Each stroke is a heartbeat, each word a breath, each sentence a step, each paragraph a journey.
Writing is not just a story with a beginning, a middle and an end of, but a journey within ourselves, exploring the depths of our thoughts, emotions, and experiences. It’s a sanctuary where you can finally make sense of your world, where you confront your fears, celebrate your joys, mourn your losses, and articulate your hopes. It’s a free space where you can re-write, re-edit and proofread the most intimate scenes of your inner life.
Making time for writing
Writing is not just about creating the next meal of content; it is about creating a feast for the soul. Each word is a morsel of wisdom, each sentence a dish of insight, each paragraph another stepping stone , each page a flow of inspiration. When you write, you are not just filling a blank page; you are setting a table for your readers, inviting them to taste the feast of our thoughts, insights, and experiences.
Planning your writing is an act of love and movement. It’s about setting a rhythm that suits your lifestyle, finding a routine that fuels your creativity, and sticking to it. It’s about carving out a space and time for your thoughts to simmer, your ideas to marinate, and your words to cook until they are ready to be served.
So, as you embark on your writing journey, remember that you are not just a writer, but a chef preparing a feast for the soul. You have the power to nourish, inspire, heal, and transform your readers through your words. Use this power wisely, plan your writing, and let your words be the feast that feeds the soul.
Learning from Accomplished writers Who Kept Writing despite leading a busy life
Can the desire to write overcame your busy schedule? We went looking for successful authors who achieved literary accomplishments despite their packed lives.
Dan Brown, best known for his Da Vinci Code series, shared that he sets his computer to freeze every hour for 60 seconds, during which he takes a mini-break to do sit-ups and push-ups. Combined with an early 4 am start, Brown’s writing routine may sound gruelling, but it certainly works. Brown also uses unconventional methods to clear his mind, such as hanging upside down from an exercise frame.
Maya Angelou, a memoirist, poet, and civil rights activist, also started her day early at 4 am and began writing within an hour of getting up. She rented a hotel room away from home to create a dedicated writing space, which helped her become one of the world’s most influential writers. After spending the day writing, she would return home in the afternoon to take care of household chores and share what she’d written with her husband, maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States, had a different approach. He was famously a night owl, retreating to his office after his wife and kids were asleep to write. His memoir, A Promised Land, was mostly penned between 10 pm and 2 am, demonstrating that it’s not about finding time, but making time that matters.
Susan Sontag, a novelist and essay writer, shared her resolutions for daily writing habits in her 1977 diary. These included getting up every morning no later than eight, writing in the Notebook every day, and confining reading to the evening as a way to avoid escaping from writing. These habits evidently served her well in her successful career.
Stephen King, known as the father of modern thrillers, has a writing routine that includes four hours of writing followed by an afternoon nap. His creative sweet spot is between 8:30 am and 12:30 pm. He also believes in light exercising before writing, which helps him stay focused and productive, writing around six pages per day.
Toni Morrison, a Nobel Prize-winning author, used every spare moment to work on her writing, often solving literary problems while on the train or in everyday situations. She found that she was most productive in the morning, often starting her day by watching the sunrise with a cup of coffee and writing longhand on yellow legal pads.
The common thread among these accomplished writers is not the specific hours they chose to write or the unique rituals they followed, but their commitment to a consistent writing schedule. They made writing a priority, whether it was at 4 am or late into the night, and they ensured that their environment was conducive to focus and creativity. They also took care of their physical health and ensured a balance between work and life.
So, whether you’re an early bird or a night owl, whether you prefer to write in silence or with background noise, the most important thing is to establish a routine that works for you and stick to it. Make writing a non-negotiable part of your day, just like eating or sleeping. You don’t need to wait for inspiration to strike; instead, you must create conditions that are conducive to inspiration.
Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to writing habits. What worked for Dan Brown or Maya Angelou might not work for you, and that’s okay. The key is to experiment, observe, and tweak until you find a routine that best suits your lifestyle and personality. Once you’ve found it, guard it fiercely and write. Now let’s look for some easy steps to plan your writing.
Making time for writing and learning to stay inspired
Writing is an enriching activity that helps you express your ideas, improve your communication skills, and foster creativity. It can be a therapeutic exercise, offering a safe space to explore your thoughts and feelings. Moreover, if you’re an aspiring writer, consistent practice is the key to honing your craft.
Here are a few easy steps to plan your writing time
1. Assess your schedule
First, take an honest look at your schedule. Identify pockets of time that you could potentially dedicate to writing. This could be during your morning commute, lunch break, or in the evenings after work. Remember, it doesn’t have to be a large block of time; even fifteen minutes a day can be productive if used effectively.
2. Prioritize writing
Like any other task, writing needs to be prioritized. Make it a non-negotiable part of your routine, rather than something you do when you “find the time.” Block off the time on your calendar as you would for an important meeting or appointment.
3. Set realistic goals
Setting unrealistic goals can lead to frustration and burnout. Instead, aim for achievable targets based on your schedule and writing speed. For instance, you could set a goal to write 500 words a day or complete a blog post every week.
4. Surround yourself with Creativity to stay inspired
Creativity begets creativity. Surrounding yourself with creative individuals or engaging with creative content can keep your inspiration levels high. Attend literary events, join writing groups, or even follow authors and writers on social media to stay connected with the writing world.
5. Have fun: write about what you love
Writing about topics you’re passionate about can keep you motivated and make the process enjoyable. If you’re feeling uninspired, consider writing a short piece about something you love, be it a hobby, a place, or a person.
6. Keep a writing journal
A writing journal can serve as a vault for your ideas, observations, and thoughts. Whenever inspiration strikes, jot it down. These entries can serve as a springboard for your writing when you’re experiencing a creative block.
Despite a busy schedule, making time for writing is easier than you might think. It requires planning, self-discipline, and giving yourself permission to feel inspired and inspire your readers. You can not only make writing a part of your routine but also continue to have fun in the process. While life often presents challenges that can disrupt your plans, the essence of successful writing lies in being intentional and maintaining consistency to harness your passion.