Writing time for Writers

Time to write. Huh?

It’s all very well to be ready, willing and able to sit your writer’s bum on the chair and position your fingers on the keyboard.

With your next chapter in mind and your ideas parading as the best plot ever thought up, first you take time out to check your emails, network on Facebook and palaver all over the internet rather than tap and type and work on your masterpiece.

Even now I’m procrastinating by blogging about lack of time to write instead of working. BUT I must add, today, I’m doing it in my “new” official blogging space and time.

Yes, I’m on a strict TIMEtable. (I’m on a diet too, but that’s a whole other story incorporating similar themes such as lack of discipline, time, ability to stick to the program etc.)

The only way I can think of to organise my writing life and time, and get some actual writing done, is to implement a serious time management strategy. (But TM sounds terminally boring, unwriterly and so far out of the creative sphere, can I bear it?)

YES. I’ve got a lot to accomplish this year, and I know I severely neglected my reading time in the one just gone. Beyond my passion, reading is a necessity, not a luxury for a writer. So how to fit it all in.

I’ve avoided TM. I kept thinking with a bit of self-discipline I could keep on track. But, NO. I don’t know where the minutes (ahem, hours) go when I’m online. It’s easy enough to lose track when internet researching; at least that’s work. Yes, I know networking and social media connections are important business to writers too. But where to draw the line in order to get the actual writing done.

Sometimes, I think I’ll just duck in to Facebook for five minutes, but how am I to know that there’ll be 300+ recent posts waiting? An hour later, I’ll duck out again. (Or I’ll catch up on some great blog posts, but they can take up serious writing time too.)

No more ducking. It’s time to get serious about time. So I’ve mapped my weekdays, and I’m going to stick to the timetable. I can be flexible, in an emergency, or with other writerly calls, but not with online networking. It’s going to have a time and place, and a finite number of minutes devoted per day.

I’ve pasted a diagram of my draft timetable below to show my good intentions. I’ll let you know how I get on. Meanwhile, I’d love you to share your tips for time management or comment on how you go about organising and separating your actual writing time and business of writing calls on your time. How much time do you spend writing/FBooking/social networking/blogging etc? I find other writers’ processes fascinating.

Now all I’ve got to do is master some diet discipline and I might fit less snugly into my new party dress. One thing at a time though…

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Liz" alt="Liz">


Chris. I am overwhelmed. Will you still be my friend if I can’t keep up? 🙂

January 12, 2011 at 2:34 pm
Karen Tyrrell" alt="Karen Tyrrell">

Karen Tyrrell

Hi Chris,
Mapping out a timetable for your writerly pursuits is a fabulous idea.
I’m glad you’ve acknowledged you need flexibility there.

For me, I create a check list for each day and I find ticking off a box a great incentive. works for me. Karen :))

January 12, 2011 at 2:40 pm
christinemareebell" alt="christinemareebell">


Thanks, Karen.

Flexibility is crucial because I very much value my family and friends, and life has a funny habit of intervening. Writing is my day job, so I needed to work out a focused plan and working day.

Your daily checklist is a great idea. I’m now trying to set out my intentions for the next day too. It gives me a starting point so I don’t fiddle too much before getting to work. 🙂 Chris

January 12, 2011 at 4:07 pm

Angela Sunde

It’s great to know, Chris, I’m not the only one who has trouble juggling so many new ways to stay connected. My ‘new’ timetable for this year has me writing between 9am and 2pm with the internet off and the phone off the hook. Before 9 are kids and housework, after 2 are exercise, socialise, network and reading.

Let’s keep each other on track.

January 20, 2011 at 1:15 pm
    christinemareebell" alt="christinemareebell">


    Hi Angela,
    Your system sounds really good and workable. I’d love to try yours, if mine doesn’t work out. I am putting myself under pressure because uni starts in March and I’m trying to get heaps done first. It’s proving a bit intense, but I am getting a lot done. No exercise and little socialising though, so the ratios will have to alter at some point. Don’t want to end up a dull girl with all work… etc. Yes, let’s keep in touch and each other on track. Cheers, Chris

    January 20, 2011 at 7:39 pm

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