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5 Ways to Add Writing Time to Your Day

by Amanda Jakle

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Have you ever found yourself wishing you had more hours in the day to write?

I know I have. Most writers do, in fact. If you’re anything like me, you have a bajillion and five distractions around you at any given time. (My dear dogs, I’m looking at you.) And don’t even get me started on the Obligations. With a capital “O”.

Kids, dogs, chores, work (ugh), grocery shopping, family time, spouse, you name it, it’s there to distract you. Before you know it, the day is gone, you’re 100% tapped out, and you start whining to yourself about how you’re never, ever, ever going to finish your Great American Novel or become the next Jane Austen at this rate.

So how do you find the time to write when life seems determined to drag you away from it kicking and screaming? For me, it was all about forming habits and finding things to compromise on here and there.

Here are 5 things you can do to add that extra hour every day:

  1. Cut the crap. By “crap”, I mean movies, television, and those five random cat videos you just found on YouTube. (You know the ones.) Netflix, Hulu, Roku, Amazon Prime Video, and whatever else is the Distraction of the Day. You know, all those random things that just drain your brain and suck the time out of your day. Just cut it out as much as possible. Don’t let it draw you in for hours at a time.
  2. Eliminate or restrict distractions. I’m not talking about your kids or the dog. I’m talking about email, social media, text messages, chatting with your pals on Microsoft Teams or Yammer or Zoom or Discord (or whatever your favorite flavor of social interaction is), and more. Eliminate them altogether, or if you can’t do that, then restrict your usage of these things to specific time blocks. Keep all the rest of your time sacred and distraction-free. You’ll get a LOT more done.
  3. Use a dictation app or software to write hands-free. You can write while you’re walking that dog that keeps distracting you (Yes, Sakari, I’m looking at you), while you’re doing the dishes (just watch out for those knives, please), while you’re doing the laundry, or while you’re driving or taking the bus to work. Some great apps and software are Otter.ai, Google Dictate, and Nuance’s Dragon (Dragon Home is the most affordable of their offerings, currently sitting at around $200.). My personal preference is for Dragon, but if you can’t afford it yet, Google Dictate and Otter.ai make decent substitutes until you can save up. Or, you know, just don’t get Dragon at all and keep using the other two.
  4. Write on your work breaks or during your kids’ naps. While I don’t advise cutting out breaks entirely due to your brain’s need to rest (more on that coming soon), if you can squeeze even five minutes in on your break each workday to write a single paragraph each time, then you’ve got another two paragraphs or more by the time you get done with your workday. Same thing if you have kids who still take naps. Five minutes during naptime equals two or more extra paragraphs per day. Plus, this gives your mind time to think and imagine and be creative, which can be almost as refreshing as real rest.
  5. Get up earlier in the morning and block out time then to write. Early to bed, early to write, as they say. A lot of the most successful authors out there get up early and do their writing before their kids and spouses get up for the day. This means uninterrupted quiet time where you can write. Plus, your brain is less worn-out at the beginning of the day. For more information, check out Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy and The Miracle Morning for Writers by Hal Elrod, Steve Scott, and Honorée Corder.

So tell me this: What do you do to add that extra writing time to your day, and what will you start doing? Did any of this help you?

Leave a comment below and let me know what works for you!

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About the Author:

Amanda Jakle

Amanda Jakle wears many hats, but she is mostly a writer, blogger, and entrepreneur. She loves traveling, seeing new sights, finding new nooks and crannies of the world, and meeting interesting people along the way, most of whom make it into her stories in some form or another. She currently lives in Missoula, Montana. She plans to be in Scotland by November 1st, 2022 for a genealogical research project.

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