Finding The Time To Write

Bella Osborne

Bella Osborne

“I would like to write a book but I haven’t got the time.” How many times have you heard that? How many times have you thought that you don’t have the time to write. My bet is that it’s more than once.

This is where I can help. Firstly, you can find time, if you really want to. It is so very easy in today’s busy world to think that you don’t have time to write. But I guarantee that if a friend called you now and you needed to drop everything to help them, you would do it. Because you’re a good person and you would find a way to accommodate their request. So why can’t you find a way to accommodate your writing? Don’t you deserve the same level of dedication as your friend?

The issue is time stealers. Time stealers are everywhere (they may have even been in an episode of Dr Who) they are the little things that eat away at your precious allocation of time almost unnoticed. If you could just grab back a fraction of those minutes even just the odd twenty minutes here and there it will make a big difference. Here are some suggestions of where to look for those elusive nuggets of time:

You could look at the ends of the day – could you get up a little earlier and write then? Or stay up a little longer and write then? Can you grab time in lunch and coffee breaks or boring meetings?

If you watch television regularly, start adding up the hours – you will be shocked. I know that after a full-on day at work you often want something to help you unwind and something that is akin to chewing gum for the brain can often be found on the satellite channels but you’ll only feel guilty for watching because you know you should really have been pressing on with your manuscript.

Obviously TV is not essential so you could give it all up (keep calm it’s ok, I’m not suggesting that you do that. Breathe). No fun makes Jack a dull loser. I jotted down everything I had watched on TV in a week and it was then very easy to cross out things from the list that I really could have skipped. This left a list of my favourites. When you whittle it down to favourites you’ll see how much time you could have spent writing (another moment of guilt).

It doesn’t have to be the television, books might be your biggest time stealer (passing them off as research fools no one). Those of us lucky enough to have children love them dearly, however, they are first class time stealers. Would their grandparents/aunts/god-parents like more quality time with them? Can you offer to have a friend’s child over one day in exchange for a return trip the next? It may be something else that steals your time. It might be that things just take longer than you thought they would, so get tough and time box things. Tell yourself I am only spending this much time on this activity and then move on. Find a way to grab some of your time back, come on you’re inventive, you’re a writer

However you do it you need to make time for you. Make a pledge to yourself and make it as if it were to your best friend, the friend you would never let down no matter what, because you deserve a bit of that kind of treatment too. The pledge is to make time for you and your writing. Because nobody deserves it more than you do… well, apart from me obviously.

Now you’ve made the pledge all you have to do is stick to it. When you look back at the end of week one and see how much you have written you will be cock-a-hoop. I’m guessing you’ve not been cock-a-hoop before so you need to make the time to find out exactly what that feels like – it’s kind of the opposite of guilt.


Bella has just finished her first novel, Acting on Impulse, which earned her a runner-up place for the New Talent Award at the 2013 Festival of Romance. Every fortnight, Bella will be sharing her experiences and advice as a new author. She also has her own blog which you can visit by clicking here.

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Bella Osborne
Bella’s first novel, It Started at Sunset Cottage was released by Harper Impulse. She was a runner-up for the New Talent Award at the 2013 Festival of Romance and a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.

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