How to Write When You're Too Busy To Write
Writing is often the first thing we cut. Here's how to squeeze it in.
Photo by Aaron Sebastian on Unsplash
Hey #GFW gang,
Thank you so much for your patience and continued support during this extremely hectic and exciting part of my life.
This post was inspired by the fact that, despite the odds, I’ve managed to remain a productive writer. I hope my learnings can help you too.
If you enjoy this post, I’d love it if you clicked the 🖤 and shared with one friend. Thanks!
Writing is hard enough. You need focus, ideas, creativity, and an ever-evolving set of skills to stand out.
Add a completely packed schedule to the list of obstacles and writing can feel nearly impossible.
There’s a lot going on in my life right now:
My wedding on June 19
Honeymoon right after
Trying to hunt down my passport so I can GO on my honeymoon
Managing Damn Gravity’s 3 new authors
I’ve never been busier.
But I’ve also been insanely productive in the writing department.
Here are some lessons I’ve learned on how to write when busy:
Make Writing Your Escape
This morning I was on a call with the US Passport Agency. This was obviously not by choice. After a frantic conversation (the support rep sounded more flustered than me), I felt defeated and helpless.
Instead of dwelling on the fact I couldn’t expedite my passport any further, I decided to jump into my morning writing.
It. Felt. Great.
Compared to the chaos around me, writing was a tranquil escape. No matter how difficult the subject, you always have control as a writer. No one can take that away from you.
Think of writer as something you GET to do, not something you have to do, and savor the moments you have all to yourself.
Create Shorter Deadlines
Right now I have about 25 minutes before my next call. Under such a tight deadline, writing actually gets easier, not harder.
The hardest part about writing is getting the nagging voice in your head to shut up. When you’re writing under deadline, you don’t have to time to doubt yourself. Journalists know this trick well.
Next time you’re struggling to write, give yourself an impossibly short deadline. Set a timer and go. You’ll be amazed by how much you can accomplish.
Schedule Time to Write
When you’re busy, you will always find more important things to do than write. Put writing on your calendar to give it the same level of importance as everything else.
I have nearly every morning blocked out for writing this week. If I don’t block out time to write, it won’t happen.
Write when Inspiration Strikes
But don’t stop at writing during your scheduled times! When inspiration strikes, you MUST take advantage.
For example, I wasn’t planning to write this newsletter right now, but I had a few minutes and this is a subject I’ve been thinking about a lot.
Another example: On Saturday night, instead of watching another episode of Great British Baking Show, I felt the urge to create Twitter content. In the past, I would’ve shrugged off the feeling and scheduled time on my calendar. This time, I turned off the TV and worked for about 3 hours until 10pm.
When you’re busy, you must work when you’re feeling inspired, no matter the time.
Give yourself a break
When life is moving faster than a rogue autonomous vehicle, you won’t always stay true to your calendar. You may miss a day or two of writing, and that’s ok.
Don’t sweat it if you fail to write. Just schedule more time on the calendar and/or write when inspiration strikes.
Write first, edit later
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: Separate the act of writing from the act of editing. Writing and editing require two different mindsets, and it’s very difficult to do both at the same time.
After writing, give yourself a break — even just 5 minutes — before editing. Not only will your writing be better, but you’ll also write faster without the psychological burden of trying to be perfect.
You don’t have time NOT to write
Above all else, the thing that keeps me going is this simple truth: If I stop writing, I will not become the person I want to be.
Writing is so important to me on so many levels. It doesn’t just help me grow my business, but myself. And when life gets busy, writing keeps me sane and focused.
The busier you get, the more you’ll need to fight for your time to write. But it’s a fight you can — and MUST — win.
How do you find time to write when busy? Would love to hear your thoughts.
And if you enjoyed this post, I’d love it if you clicked the 🖤 and shared with one friend. Thanks!