Making Time to Write | What I’m Writing Wednesdays

Miraculously, Wednesdays this semester look like they will be pretty open; all I have is Media Psych from 4–6:45 p.m. but I should have a lot of time on this day to write and blog as long as I’m maintaining my readings and homework over the weekend, which is a major goal of mine this semester.

I want to talk about making time to write in this week’s post because it’s something I’ve struggled with since losing my weekly in-person writing club and becoming a graduate student. It’s all about managing your time, and I’m been pretty bad at that. I feel like my entire adult life has been a war between my ambitious side and my lazy side.

Tuesdays and Thursdays will be my busiest days as I have learned I will be a TA for three classes which meet twice a week on these days. Additionally, I will need to keep up with the readings as much as possible. So I’m essentially going to be reading for four classes this semester in addition to completing my own coursework, grading undergrad work, and I still have no idea at this point what my Capstone will demand.

I feel like I’ve done my best writing when I’ve been my busiest, and since it’s going to be a busy semester I’m really looking forward to what comes out of it. Below is my plan for how I’m going to make time to write.

The Plan

#1 Figure out the best time of day that you are most inspired to write.

For me, I think it’s between morning and the mid-afternoon. I like having the morning sun burst through my curtains and to have the morning calm lull me into my story. This is perfect for a grad student who has most of her classes at night, but this semester I have daytime commitments that I will need to work around. I also need to make sure I’m not using this time to study or prepare for classes at the last minute, so I need to get all that stuff done ahead of time in its own designated time slot, most likely after dinner and in the evening.

#2 Wake up everyday at the same time and immediately go through the morning routine.

This might seem a bit random, but if you’re anything like me, you may find it easy to stay up late watching YouTube or Netflix when you know you can sleep in the next day. This is how most of my free time gets wasted. I’ve found that it’s easier to wake up and stay awake if you go through all the motions that you would as if you have somewhere to be. So for me that means: washing my face, brushing my teeth, moisturizing my skin, and getting dressed. Then I feel fresh and ready to take on the day.

#3 Even on the busiest of days, try to look at your story at least once at any spare moment you have and jot down any heat of the moment ideas you may have.

A lot of days where I feel like I don’t have any time for myself, I usually actually do have some time, but I’m just so stressed out that I just want to vegetate so that I don’t freak out. This will probably be the hardest thing that I can personally do because it’s a huge behavioral shift for me. But that’s why I know it will make a huge difference.

End Note

Let me know if you found any of these “tips” helpful or if you’re already seeing results by having implemented them into your writing habits. I haven’t got any writing progress to share this week, but I am excited for Friday because this week I think I’m going to have my own personal write-in day as a show of good faith to myself that I’m going to write this semester. I’ll probably set an arbitrary word goal for the day and do a few writing sprints to keep myself moving. But I also think I’ll do a bit of plotting and research that day. I’m so excited and it’s great to be excited after a month of blah!

Thank you for reading!
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5 Comments

  1. This is a great post. I particularly agree about going through your morning routine – even if you have no where to be. That really helps spring my mind into work mode. Otherwise I’m going to try to follow your advice to look at my manuscript every day – I’m always in the negative mind frame that if I cant have a solid hour of writing, its not worth it. I think its time to mix this up! Thanks for sharing – and best of luck with your writing!

    1. I’m glad these tips helped! I know exactly what you mean about that negative mindset. Sometimes even if I have a spare hour I’ve felt like that’s not even enough to time to do any substantial, but it’s soooooo not true. Sometimes you can get little nuggets of ideas that make 5 minutes worth more than three hours of sitting at a desk. You can just never tell which is why I think it’s important to do a little everyday.

      I must confess, I’ve already failed at sticking to them since making this post, but I’m getting back on it! In fact, I’ve written these tips on sticky notes and put them above my desk so I can see them always and not forget! ^_^

  2. I hope this writing schedule goes well for you I really like the idea of making time to write, even though it’s not something I’ve been doing myself.

    I haven’t written anything in ages, and I think that has to do with not having a schedule or routine at all. When I get home from work I just want to relax, and then on the weekends I end up wasting my time.

    1. I’ve often found that the lack of routine on holidays and breaks makes it easy for me to end up doing nothing. That’s why I’m trying to build some sort of daily structure even on these long weekends where I have nowhere specifically that I need to be. I have a private tumblr where I write each morning to-do lists and goals for the day. I also write about the things I’m excited about and (more often) the things giving me anxiety. It’s something I look forward to every morning after breakfast while I’m drinking my morning cup of tea. And it also gets me really excited to kick the day’s butt! ^_^

      Don’t feel too bad about not writing either. You’ve done a bunch over the years and even if you’re currently reading your stories and revising then it’s time well spent! Maybe set some monthly goals for where you want to be on your writing/editing journey. I told my friend Sara I was hoping to finish my novel by March 13th and she decided to finish reading her first draft by that time. (She’s a full-time teacher so has very little free-time, but curiously can get more writing done than me any day.) Any kind of goal can go a long way towards motivating yourself again.

  3. The pull of other activities is a major weakness of mine–like right now, when I’m reading and commenting on blogs rather than writing, blogging, or doing my homework. Oops.

    I really like the idea of a routine, but I’ve struggled with it in the past, especially a morning routine, as I struggle to grt out of bed when I don’t have to. Even when I want to get up early! It’s much easier to just… not xD

    Beat of luck with your writing, Lori <3

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