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February 25, 2024

Tips for Aspiring Writers: Finding Time to Write

When I started writing books, I used to get home from work, change out of my uniform, grab a coffee, and start work. I’d write for around two hours before powering down the computer and preparing dinner. I did this every weekday, and by the end of the month, I had a completed first draft.

These days, I usually write in the morning after my walk and breakfast. I try to write at least 2000 words—more if I’m having a good day. I don’t want to write some days, but I keep going until I hit my 2000-word target. It might take me all day sometimes, but I get there.

Are you a morning person, or do you do your best thinking in the middle of the night?

When you write, it will depend very much on if you’re a morning lark or a night owl. Experiment.

Yes, I know. I’ve said it before, but there is no right or wrong way to approach writing. Work around your commitments and just do it. Write!

But what if this isn’t working for you? What if you find you work better with other people around?

Try a writing sprint with other writer friends. In a writing sprint, you write for a set time—anything from five minutes up to an hour. The idea is to write without trying to edit or stop.
Once the time is up, report to your writing buddies. Chat, take a five- or ten-minute break, and do another sprint. Writing sprints can be in person or online.

A version of this is the Pomodoro technique, in which you write for twenty-five minutes, take a five-minute break, and repeat until you reach your writing target.

I’ve found doing sprints has got me past procrastination and upped my word count.

Another way—my favored method—is to use a game-type concept called 4 the Words. This is a paid option, but it isn’t expensive at around $4 a month. (Use this code PKCQA42934, and not only will I receive free crystals, but you will, too). They also offer a free 15-day trial.

I write my first draft in 4 The Words and love the “game” aspect. I choose which monsters I want to battle each day and what quests I’m taking. Some days, I’ll fight small monsters of around 500 words; other days, I’ll take on monsters of 2000 words. There is also a community here, and you can sign up for team challenges. The people there are supportive and friendly.

So, no matter which time of day you choose to write or how you get those words down, experiment a little to find the best way for you.