To be a writer you have to write. You have to make time in your busy schedule for writing. This isn't always easy. As Stephen Cannell explains in his invaluable article, "Finding the Discipline to Write," finding the time to write also requires discipline and allowing yourself to write garbage on occasion.
We asked our readers how they find time for writing. The exact question asked was, "How Do You Find the Time to Write?" Here is what our readers had to say:
I write whenever I can. Every day. I can't sleep when I don't.
I write every day because I can't NOT write everyday.
I make time to write- goal of retirement. I write every day for my own satisfaction.
Night is the best moment to write, you can forget the miseries of the day.
I only write when inspired... my work is better that way.
I make it the first thing I do each day, even before breakfast.
Cynthia Leigh Baca
I try to write as much as possible. I don't know if I'm very good, but I am trying. I find time to write, right before bed. Then I write until I am tired.
I have to make time to write. I usually write late at night when the dogs have been walked and after David Letterman has made me laugh.
Estes Park, CO
Most of my writing is academic, so I have to find time. As I start my thesis, I imagine I will be writing almost every day.
I escape into writing whenever I have a few minutes.
I make the time to write. I write almost every day, whenever i get the chance or an idea
In the morning I spend a half hour before work, another half hour after work, and then an hour or two prior to sleep. It cuts into my sleep some but it's the only time I can do it. This includes the freelance work I do for a daily newspaper and my own writing projects.
Summit Hill, PA
Yes, I write each day. Usually early in the morning after a walk. However, I do write at other times as the mood,takes me, or when I have the time and the inspiration.
Maida Vale, WA, Australia
Yes, I do write everyday. Last summer, I returned to college after a 30 hiatus. During those years,I became a certified chef for 18 years. I never lost the desire to teach and write. This August, I will retire from the culinary field and graduate with a B.A. in English, creative writing as my emphasis. I plan < to begin a new career as a teacher and < writer.
I try to write when kids are out playing or when they are sleeping, or in school, When it is School.. Most of the time is when I am alone. sometimes I'll think of somethink of something to write and write it down as a note. And no I do not write every day.
I try to write something each day, but keep a tape recorder handy always,so I don't lose any thought. Usually late at night, I can listen to my ideals and organize them easily.
North Myrtle Beach, SC
Get up VERY early!
Mt Vernon, IA
I love a mystery, and I write every day, early, the first thing with my first cup of coffee. Sometimes it's only a paragraph or two, but I get it down. Of course I might change it the next day but at least I get an idea down to examine.
Powder Springs, GA
I set aside a certain amount of time each day. I try to write some every day.
I love to write daily, whenever a new idea forms I treak it like a child.
I usually try to set aside an hour each day for relaxation, that's the that I use to write.
I told myself a long time ago that writing for me is one of my basic needs, so, knowing I must eat, drink, breathe air, and write, I find the time to do all of these! I write early in the morning about 6, I keep a notebook pad in my shirt pocket so I can jot down ideas for later poems, stories, and articles, I have another notebook in the bathroom, next to a few novels I read there, and again I write in the evening after dinner. Yes, I write every day!
I find time to write by getting up at 5am, before the rest of my world begins. For two hours . . . no interruptions.
I find the time to write three or four times a week, usually in the early morning or late at night. Other people, the radio, or the view is usually too much distraction.
I find the time to write three or four times a week, usually in the early morning or late at night. Other people, the radio, or the view is usually too much distraction.
Pymble NSW, Australia
I manage to sneek in a few hours worth of writing when my son goes down for his afternoon nap. Yes.(okay, sometimes)
I have to make time to write &, unfortunately, I am unable to make time every day.
Mt. Pleasant, SC
As a full time mom and grandmother, I manage to pen a few thoughts on paper each day between bagging lunches and changing diapers. "My" time comes at nap time.
I do not write each day, although I know I should. It's easy to be lacadasical. Any help I can get would be greatly appreciated!
I love to write, each day. it is a great stress releiver, so no matter what I make time to sit down for atleast 20 minutes and write.
I write whenever and wherever the urge hits me.
Las Vegas, NV
I try to write each day while my children are at school
Fullname: Kathryn Coy
I try to keep business hours and to apply myself--even when I'm not feeling particularly inspired. I've found that sticking to a schedule is good discipline and I don't feel like I've done "nothing" even when I've had a bad writing day, because at least I stuck to my schedule.
I make time on the train! and yes, i try my hardest to write each day. it's something that keeps me alive - and that's enough of a reason to make time.
I try to work on my personal writing a least a couple times a week (actually, I write everyday for my "day gig"). How do I find time? I sit in a marketing job in a large corporation that pays the bills but does little for the soul. I write because I need a creative form of self expression, and to open the door to my reality for anyone that would like to visit.
I find the time in the car while traveling to work, at work, or at home just before bed. I try to write each day, but sometimes the stresses of life overtake my desire to devote the time to writing.
Huber Heights, Ohio
I write late at night, but unfortunately, not every day.
When I've begun a book I write almost every day. I taught last year and so have the summer "off" and beside looking for a new teaching job I am researching new novel that I'd begun playing with this spring. Working on my novel IS my life right now!
I write my own family newsletter. I am also the Editor of a computer club newsletter. I enjoy writing short stories and poetry... I write several times a week, depending upon my schedule
No, I do not write each day except in spurts of 2 or 3 days at a time. When I do write I usually pick odd times like before I leave for work at 7 or after 10PM
I try to write a little each week, and or when it inspires me. I read, edit and work full time so I find it difficult to write every day.
Steven R. Dixon
St. Peters, MO
I write mainly for school or school-related functions, but often use weekends or free-time to write.
I do technical writing for a living. As for fiction, it tends to suffer.
I am a programmer. once in 24 short whiles in a day.. I fall into a Black-hole of blankness. My thoughts roam freely within this space.. so I write as far and wide as the ink may draw. When I hit the unexpected debris in the Black-hole.. I wake up.
Gregory Oreghe Falowo
1 hour at night before I go to bed.
I have to make the time. With an active two year old, there is no other choice.
Kansas City, MO
I don't have time to write. I rarely do.
Orange Park, FL
I Make A Daily Plan!
Jon Rhett Flanagan
You have to make the time to write. No I do not write each day. :)
Fort Lee NJ
After work, on weekends. I write in spurts and spasms, unfortunately. I turn on the computer every day to write, but often nothing happens.
West Covina, CA
I'm a technical writer by day, and an on-again, off-again fiction writer by night.
I find the time to write by having my husband handle the chores and answer the phone and the door. I do not write every day because my husband only cooperates on weekends.
Whenever there is a lull at work, snatching time here and there.
I am not writing daily... and who said that I am finding time to write? This makes it very challenging...
Alexandru Dan Georgescu
I don't beleive that all people are affected by movies etc., but someone who has a steady diet of it in many facets of their leisure time and has some phycological problems can definitely be affected.
I try to write from 15 minutes to an hour each day.
I write when the muses speak to me, and only then.
E. Stroudsburg, PA
I am a beginner. I only write when the mood hits me. I do keep a writer's journal that I write in pretty regularly; three-four times a week. I am thinking about pursuing a MFA in creative writing.
I usually try to find time to write short pieces after work and after all college work is finished for the night. I usually write late in the evenings.
I try to write everyday if only for a little while. Every night I make a journal entry that reflects some incident from the day and my feelings. Sometimes I just ramble. The main thing is that I keep the juices flowing by writing something every single day. There is something to be said for structure and schedules.
I write while I am at work.This is the only time I can be at peace and do what I want to do.I write the feelings that I see in my head.I write for me.
Sacramento, CA 95814
My Husband Does the Writing.
Toms River, NJ
I like to write my own poetry as to provide insight to myself, and of course...I love to read
I like to write my own poetry as to provide insight to myself, and of course...I love to read
Since my son was born, I've had precious little time to write. Now I've taken to writing while I hold him. I type one-handed, and I often read aloud as I write. My son loves the closeness, and I treasure both the time to write and the time spent snuggling him close.
Jefferson City, MO
I usually write between 5 - 6 am. I journal daily in addition to short story writing.
Silver Spring, MD
I pretend that it's part of my 9-5 job and I have to write at some point every day, besides, I enjoy it. If nothing else I write before bed.
Claremont, CA 917111
Finding time is difficult but I manage to do it. I do write every day.
East Hampton, CT
Early morning (5:00A.M.) Approximately four to five days a week.
Judy C. Ingram
Grand Prairie, Texas
My off time. usually after work
I look for deadlines I can impose on myself, either through query letters, writing workshops, or writing groups. Then my writing becomes enough of a priority to give it space on my daily schedule. Eveb if I don't write every day, I mentally take the story further each day.
Fullname: Bonnie Jackson
Skull Valley, AZ
I teach students with emotional disabiities. I have each of my students keep a journal that they write in daily. I also write during this time. It is very difficult to find time to write at home. I am the mother of three year old twin girls and they are very active! I am, currently, taking a graduate level language arts workshop. I have learned so much and we write every day.
To me, writing is like breathing. I write for at least one hour each night.
I've been writing a book for 2 years now. I'm 16, and it is a fictional story about a 15 year old girl and her large family. I try to write every day, I just make time. I love your site!
I get all my chores done in the morning, send the kids somewhere, school, etc. and write in the am until 3-4 pm--and yes, I try to write everyday, but it is closer to 4-5 days a week...Jeanette
Santa Rosa, CA
I try to write every day. Usually I write during my lunch hour at work and early on the weekends before anyone else wakes up.
I never write as often as I should. And no I don't write each day.
Finding/making time to sit down at my pc and "write" is difficult. I used to feel guilty about not "writing" every day. Then it occurred to me that there is more to the "writing every day" process than just the physical sitting at the pc and typing out the words. " Writing every day" means honing my skills by daily doing at least one of the following: develop characters and plot in my head (which I do during my daily commute - 45 minutes one way); read published works as a writer -- this means paying attention to how the author constructs plot, writes dialog, shows not tells, etc.; read and critique submissions from the writers workshops I belong to. And that is how I find time to write each day.
Winter Haven, FL
I don't write daily, although I probably should. I write when I can exorcise the words in my heart and head no other way.
Taft, TX 78390
At times it is very difficult. My time is late at night, when everyone's asleep.
West Union, IL
I try to write each day, making entries into my journal. :)
Fullname: Trinh Lam
I spend more time thinking of reasons I can't take time to write than I ever do writing.
I try to write at night, after babies, spouse and other critters have gone to sleep. I haven't written everyday since I became a Mom.
I don't find the time to write, I have to make it! At this point most of my writing is done on the weekends and holidays.
Upper Darby, PA
Alot of times while I'm waiting for a page to load on the net or when I go to bed. I try to write everyday, but occasionally I don't have the time.
It's getting tougher to find time to write everyday. It takes time to get into the right frame of mind, to arouse the Muse away from his daydreams. So I find the time to write, by making a committment to write everyday. Why? Because it's what keeps me going everyday, being an outlet for my frustrations. And because I am a lover of the written word. Of course, that's an ideal-world case, cos unfortunately, I don't write everyday. But sometimes that don't matter, cos every minute of my life, in my mind, I am creating.
oa Payoh Singapore
At night when the kids are in bed.
New Orleans, LA
Before bed and after dinner I make 1/2 hour of "wind down" time with my journal. As a result of keeping such good tabs on my day-to-day activities, I've been able to track my growth and maturity from about age 8 until present day.
In the late evening and early morning, after I return from the joy that pays the rent. I am a member of the Nature Writer's Workshop and they group is both an inspiration and a help-mate in motivating me to keep producing. I've gotten several articles published on the web but I still haven't broken in the paying markets.
I write and read every day. These are two gifts from God.
West Bloomfield, MI 48325
o be a writer you must write something each day. The business of writing also requires work other than simply sitting at your computer & word smithing. It requires filing, clipping, networking. In general, being a writer requires maintaining and office.
Las Vegas, NV
I force myself to write for 1/2 an hour each day, if I don't I have to make up the 1/2 hour the next day. It's on my list of things "to do" each day
Victoria, BC, Canada
I always set aside 1-2 hours each day for writing. I keep a journal, too, which ensures I keep my motiviation to write. I love writing.
Minneapolis, MN 55458
I write at a regular time so that it's a matter of habit
I MAKE time to write, but not every day
I try to write each day - at least in my journal. I find time after everyone else is settled in for the night...
Late night marathons
I try to write in my journal each day and I almost always have a short story in the works. I don't know how I find the time to write, I have to make the time.
Good question!! My son likes to throw rocks into a bucket of water, so while he does that, I sit outside with him and write. I don't write every day, but I do make sure I so SOMETHING related to my writing every day (like research, submitting, revision).
San Diego CA
I try to write every day but in reality I only have time to write every other day. On the weekends I write as much as possible.
Only when the spirit moves me.
I honestly write very late at night or you may find this funny, but I do my best writing when I am in the bathroom!! :*)
I am really busy with other kinds of writing besides my own, but I do try to wrtie a couple of hours everyday for myself.
Thanks to menopause, I awake and write...at 3 a.m.!
Mariposa, CA 95338
I do SOMETHING each day, even though I work 65-75 hours a week. Usually in a seven day work week with varying shifts.Sometimes I do intrnet research when I get home at 3:00 or 4:00 AM, or write for an hour to four hours after I get up at 9:00 to 11:00 AM. Today I ran all over the Denver metroplex looking for anecdotes for chapter one of my book. If you want to write, you'll find the time.
As Little as possible. Prefer to read.
I write as I taxi my three kids to their various destinations. I write even *while* driving. I'm pretty good at writing on a pad of paper while watching the road. Of course sometimes I write over the best words I've ever written in my life but, well, that *is* the story of my life.
San Jose, CA
I set aside a few hours each night to write after work. On the weekends, I write more irregularly as my schedule permits. Generally, I try to write six days a week, allowing myself a day off on Friday to relax from working a 40 hour week at my regular job.
Ottawa, Ontario Canada
At the present time, I keep a daily journal with the hopes that someday soon I will be able to write an autobiography.
I make it. I sit down and ask everyone to let me relax. When I sit down to write is probably the only times I get time for me alone. I write almost every day.
West Melbourne, FL
Write as often as possible, carve out an hour or so a day, more on weekends
I write every morning for one hour before preparing for my day job!
It's simply a matter of setting a daily goal.........to write every day. I can always write for thirty minutes a day and happily hours on another day. It's fun to write.
Set time - each day.
Cedar Key, Florida
I make the time. It is especially diificult with an active 2 1/2 year old!
I write late at night while the family is asleep. I do write each day, whether it be to friends or making lists. I do more solid writing mainly at my workplace.
Aiken, South Carolina
You just have to make time.
It's part of my job.
I set aside time after everyone else turns in for the night. This way I have total quiet. I call it my 'alone time'
Studying for a degree in English means that writing is a part of my everyday life!
I try to write 6 days a week (in Polish) and usually succeed. Books, magazines and web sites such as Writers Write devoted to writing help to motivate me to work harder and to grow.
I usually don't write each day, I take note of ideas I would like to use in my writing and spend the rest of the time reading. So far I have many synopses but very little writing.
Ano Glyfada, Athens, Greece
Yes, I do write each day! It is a conscious effort. Much of my writing is at the computer. It's over 90 degrees today, but I've had it on already three times. I do different kind of writing: journaling, writing children's stories (I work with young children) and newsletter writing (I edit the Portland Gray Panther Newsletter), commentary and essays. And, I try to work in the morning when I awaken. I also write, longhand, when I am eating. It gets two jobs done at the same time! And, I let a lot of other stuff go by the wayside to do my writing. In that way, I am quite undisciplined.
I usually keep paper and pen at hand. I tend to write when the mood hits. I have been known to stop in the middle of cooking supper to run and grab pen and paper and jot down thoughts. Most of my writing is done at night when the rest of the household is asleep. I don't write on a daily basis. I try to write at least once a week.
Chilliwack, BC Canada
To write it's very necessary for me; For example, when I have a problem I write about it and then I can forget it.
What Else -- I'm "Retired."
Santa Barbara, CA 93103
I set aside about two to three hours a day to work on my projects.
I am a business writer and I make the time to hit deadlines. The fun stuff always get pushed to the back burner.
Downers Grove IL
I write at least one hour every day. I have to make the time. The writing becomes the most important thing that I have to do.
By assignment - I write mag articles.
I write during my lunch break while teaching at the local state prison.
I keep a journal but my teenage son is a great writer. He reads everything he can get his hands on and I try to encourage him to write. He wants to be a journalist so I buy him every book he asks for if I can.
Make good use to the few 5-10 mins in between my class. As I waited at the bus, I write. Yes I do write everyday.
I write every day that i get a chance . I find the time to write whenever i get the ideas.
I am a stay at home dad, so when the kids give 5 minutes I type up a paragraph or two. Once they go to bed, then I can spend a couple of hours cranking out the text.
No, I do not write everyday. Because I need a long tranquil period which is rare, not being able to stop accepting offers to go out.
Montreal, Quebec Canada
I like to read and am "playing at" writing a 1912 historical fiction novel, focusing on the Midwest.
I try to write every day, even if it's just an e-mail letter to my sister. It is still good practice in writing. Sometimes it is hard to find time, but any writing is better than none. I even keep my journal on computer disk, so I don't lose the opportunity to write.
Thelma Jo Rogers
I have to find time because I run a newsletter and people expect to see it online every other month. It works to my advantage because I can get lazy like most writers and stop writing but this keeps me on track. I don't write everyday because I would burn out and routine is not my middle name but I do write every week.
Since I am a stay at home mom, I am able to write every day. I try to spend a minimum of 3 hours writing each day.
I have a tough time finding time to write. I do take a moment to jot down inspirations as soon as they occur. Well, I get it down often. I will write on anything with anything to get the idea some permanence. Time to write at the computer is rare so I do have an excess of notes, but I DO have them and eventually they will reside in their rightful home.
Goose Creek, SC
I take my journal to work, and when it is slow, or an idea hits during the day, I take it out.
I set aside one hour in the evenings to work on stories in progress, though most of my writing is done on weekends. I also carry a notebook to jot down any ideas that occur to me during the course of the day.
It's very hard to find time to write with 2 jobs & college but the computer helps. I usually write late at night or on weekends. Luckily I have Sundays off both jobs. Thanks for this contest chance.
I find time to write on a 3-11 (slow) shift at work. Yes, I write each day; usually just a little bit so I remember where I am and where I'm going with it.
Have been lax lately but used to force myself to write daily. In a slump. This happens.....I'll be back!
Diane N. Smith
I make time at the end of my work day. I stay late. I work 7.5 for them and about 2 hours for me. Yes, I write daily.
Stanice Anderson Smith
I haven't had much time to write, and I'm also suffering from writer's block
I journal almost every day and then take chunks of time (several days) to write.
I make time to write. It's the only way that I can find the time...
Montrose, BC, Canada
I was always hampered by a strict writing schedule. Now I just write whenever I get the urge. Yes, that can lead to mucho trouble - especially when that critical report is due or family obligations can't wait for that "killer chapter." Unfortunately, the urge visits me everyday. "How's that?" you ask using that irritating, naive tone. Well quantity rarely leads to quality. In other words, I write daily as I get the urge daily. I find myself spending a great deal of time editing. Often, this task takes up the bulk of my writing time. Having figured out the writing problem, I will find a solution to the quantity vs. quality issue.
Brooklyn, New York
I don't find the time to write, I make it and, gosh, do I write each day? Um, well, mostly. I go through 'dry' periods (just coming out of one now) but even if I'm not physically putting thoughts 'to paper', so to speak, I'm still mentally jotting down ideas and scenarios. (No straight 'yes or no' answer from this girl!
Stirling, On. Canada
It is a matter of priorities. I NEED to write. I NEEDS MUST write. I cannot NOT write. I belong to Thinkers Intenational, and WWH Humor Writers' group, among others. I have posts to answer every day.
San Leon, TX
I make the time. I consider it my job, but without all the stress and agravation of dealing with office politics. I also carry a pad of paper with me everywhere I go so if I can an idea for something I'm working on or just a brand new idea of something to write, I can make a note of it and not forget anything. Yes, I write each day, every day, because I enjoy writing.
Sierra Vista, AZ
I find time to write after I get all the kids in bed. I do not write every day but, I write at least once a week.
I write on a schedule, it's the only way to improve one's own craft.
I try, but often get discouraged - sites like yours help keep my morale up! :)
Kate Van Wynen
Huntington Beach, CA
Each day has enough hours in it to allow time for daily writing. I know that that is what serious writers are supposed to do but I find it's more effective to simply write for as long as it takes when the muse calls.
As a teacher, I enjoy writing during the summer months.
Windsor, Ontario Canada
I write each day in the summer, but in the winter I don't seem to have as much time because I am a full time college student. (Unless I write for a class)
Carly R. Villanueva
Just have to work it in as a planned thing to do- I try to!
I sneak time at work, I carry a notebook constantly (so I write on the subway,even while I'm walking!!!), and then in the evenings.
I try to write each after dusk. Like many others, I find nighttime and moonlight intriguing, how many sins, loves, and mysteries does the night mask?
New York, NY
I'm retired, thus, I have ample time to write every day.
Just take time! Sometimes
John P. Warren
I do the work on the computer in the mornings while I am fresh. Later in the day I write out new material long hand. Ignore the phone, the computer, Tv and radio, and spouse and family...and write. I usually write 4 to 5 times a week.. If I'm on a roll daily.
Helene M. Webb
I take a walk outdoors and look at all the things that people normally don't notice, then I pick one thing I saw and write one page about it. I also write down note cards when I am watching television and something profoundly wonderful is said, I expand on it>Its like brushing your teeth 3 times a day. If you only write one sentence, it is far better than none. I also keep an event daily diary, compulsive and manadatory, its become a habit.
Diane Kat West
Mountain City, TN
I write during lunch at work, then for 15-30 before going to bed. While I try to write each day, Murphy's Law sometimes disrupts this routine, and I have to squeeze in a little more writing time the next day to compensate.
Glen Burnie, MD
I am a beginning writer and I would love to have a best-selling mystery novel one day.
I write whenever possible, but as I progress deeper and deeper into my college education, I find that I have less and less time to write anything other than class assignments.
Sometimes I don't. I try to write in a journal everyday.
Palm Springs, CA
I find myself overly busy just like others, I try to write just before bed each night.
I set aside a time like an hour everyother day, to work on my short stories and poetry, i feel i am apt to write better in the morning or at the end of the day!