How do you go about making time to write? You need to answer this, because making time for your fiction writing is essential. Writing a novel is a big endeavour, and will require a serious investment of time. (Check out the page on persistence for more on this.)

Unless you’re very, very lucky, your fiction writing will have to fit in around the day job, certainly until you get established (and perhaps even after that too, as I discuss in the section about getting rich as a fiction writer).

So, the time to write your fiction will have to fit in around everything else. The time will have to be claimed creatively, rather than literally ‘made’.

There are two elements to this:

  • Honour your fiction writing dream enough, and
  • Be prepared to make the sacrifices.

Honouring your fiction dream is crucial. If you’re going to do this, you need to do it whole-heartedly. It’s no secret that this is a very competitive path. The odds are against you anyway, to be frank. (See Getting Published for more on this.) You will need persistence and quite simply, you need to put the writing time in.

Your dream deserves this commitment. So you need to be sure that you don’t feel guilty about taking the time to write your fiction (and if you do, use EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) to erase it). You need to take it seriously. In short, you need to give yourself permission to do this.

You might need to honour your commitment to this enough that you’ll fight for your right against the wishes of your family. Now, of course, nothing about this is about neglecting your family, especially if you have children. But the reality is that this time has to come from somewhere, and almost certainly you won’t be as available to your family as you were before.

You need to honour your fiction-writing dream enough to claim the right to do this.

And once you’ve done that, you have to accept the sacrifices you’ll make. If you’re writing fiction, there’s something else you’re not doing. In my opinion, television is the easiest and most rewarding thing to ‘not do’ instead of writing. Most of us watch so much television that that’s a tranche of hours right there; and our lives certainly won’t be any poorer for cutting it out.

But what else will you sacrifice? Sleep? Another way to get more time is to go to bed later or get up earlier. An hour here, an hour there, it soon adds up. Just don’t get yourself into a state of exhaustion - that won’t do you or your writing any good.

What else can you trim? Some of your social life? Don’t stop going out entirely. That wouldn’t be good for you or your writing either (read the section on a writer's life for more on that). But you may well find that you need to ration your socialising. (And possibly be strong in insisting to your friends that you can’t meet them on that occasion - honouring your dream again.)

So, the time is there - it just needs to be claimed. Will you honour yourself and your dream enough to claim it?

Writer's Digest has several videos on making time to write - details to the right.