I’m kind of a writing and blogging junkie, as you’ve probably guessed. I hardly go to blogging events (except those I really want to go to, for brands I really like or advocate); I don’t do lots of reviews (unless I really like the product), and I’m not a rant-y, angsty blogger (not really what I feel comfortable with, and honestly, there are tons of angst-driven blogs out there. Why add to the noise, right?). But I like to write. And as a writer, I get asked a lot about “how” or “what” or “when” to write, especially from readers and other bloggers. The most common question would have to be —
How do you find the time to blog?
Honestly? For me, finding the time to blog means making a deliberate decision to blog and appointing a time to blog. You know how there’s that verse in the Bible: “There’s an appointed, perfect time for everything?” Yes, it’s a simple answer, and I know it’s also extremely difficult to carry out if you’re not a natural writer. However, if you don’t set an appointed time to write; if you don’t make the decision to work on your blog, then logically, you won’t have the time for it. I know this, because I’m one helluva busy woman. I have to be a wife and mom (first priority), but I also have to take care of my work (next priority), and blogging, crafting words, creating stories: All these need to be completed intentionally, even if I have to do them in spurts. Here are my quick tips for finding the time to write or blog, even if you’re super busy.
1. Start with your favorites first.
I always go by the rule of “writing what I love” because I naturally will write faster if I’m excited about my topic. Try it! The feeling of completing something with ease usually gives you the momentum to write more. With blogging, for instance, I’ll tend to write about an incident that excited or inspired me, over a product review or an event (unless it’s one pretty swell event). What are your favorite things to write about? Start with these when you sit down to blog. Often the best posts and stories come out when you are inspired, when you know your subject matter from the inside out. If you’re writing for work, start with the parts of your project you find the easiest to accomplish (kind of like “putting the big stones in first”, if you will).
2. Protect your “writing streak.”
You know when you are most productive at writing, better than anyone else. Knowing this, stick to your “writing streak” and make a habit out of it. For me, some of the best writing comes right after I’ve put my son to sleep (around 10 PM onwards), or early in the morning, just before my family wakes up (around 6AM). I have a hard time writing during midday up to dinner time, because I’m often spending time with my son or with clients. How about you?: What time of day works best for you? Make it sacred and protect that time, especially if you write for a living.
3. Write down your ideas, all the time.
I share this all the time in my writing workshop! Whenever an idea strikes you, whether for a blog post, an article or a story, write it down immediately. I use a notebook, which I always keep in my bag, so that whenever an idea strikes, I’ll always have it with me when I am stumped for ideas. It’s a great idea to use a notebook that you like, that fits in your bag (like me), but use your preferred mode of note-taking, i.e. on your smartphone’s Notepad, on a bulletin board, on Post-its; whatever suits you.
4. Challenge yourself against time.
My friend Prerna is a master at working alongside timers! I, for one, find them productive when I’m working on technical projects like, say, the magazine I edit for, or a copywriting project. This method is all about working under time pressure, or challenging yourself against the clock. You challenge yourself in the following ways:
- Can I finish choosing photos for this blog post, after 15 minutes?
- Can I complete this sponsored post for my client before the stew is cooked (which means you’re really using the kitchen timer according to its purpose!)?
- How many words can I write in fifteen minutes?
Try it. See how far you go. It works to increase productivity in some cases, but remember, this really depends on whether or not you work well under time pressure.
Challenge: Write a guest post for Dainty Mom (and there’s a prize!)
I’m setting up a challenge for those who are reading this post. I’m going to give away a safety wallet from Travelon (available at Flight 001) to a lucky reader who will submit a guest post to Dainty Mom, on how they find time to write for their blog or for work.
Here’s how to join:
- Write an article with the topic “how I find time to write for my blog” or something related. Remember to give your own tips and strategies.
- Post this article on your blog, and with the following introduction: “This is an official entry to Dainty Mom’s guest post challenge, on “How to Find the Time to Write or Blog.”
- Make sure to post the article by July 15, 2013.
- When you’ve posted the article, go to Dainty Mom’s Facebook page, post the article link, and leave a status update with the following text: “@Dainty Mom, this is how I find the time to write for my blog! (Include the link to your blog post)”
The best article will win one of these beautiful wallets from Travelon and Flight 001 (which I highly recommend, since I have my own, too!) The winning guest post will be featured on Dainty Mom, with a link to your blog. Deadline for guest blogs is next week, July 15, Monday.
I’m looking forward to reading your entries!