Today I have the privilege to be swapping blog posts with Leah Grace from The Grace Haus!! She has a lovely blog for Christian teen girls, and I love reading her posts!! I definitely recommend you check her out and sign up for her email list!
I wrote a post for her that you can check out here, and I’ll be sharing the post she wrote for me!! Let’s dive in!
How to Write Even When You’re Busy (And a Free Planner)
By Leah Grace From The Grace Haus
“I want to write, I just don’t have the time!”
How familiar does this sound? Is that something you’ve said before?
I totally get this feeling. My lifestyle is a very busy one where a lot of things come up, so on top of an already busy schedule, I have to always be prepared for sudden plan changes.
And while I love that I get to be flexible—especially when I can help people—it usually means that a lot of things can be pushed to the backburner… including my writing.
While it’s important to not let writing take over the rest of your life, there’s a lot to be said about priorities— those things that are so important, we’ll work the rest of our schedule around them.
But let’s be honest with ourselves for a minute. There are so many responsibilities on us every single day, so it’s not easy to just prioritize writing. After all, there are more important things we should be doing, right?
Maybe. But maybe not.
There are some things you need to figure out before just adding something into your schedule.
What are your goals?
Something that one of my writing instructors said in a lesson really stood out to me: if you want writing to be your full time job, then treat it like a full time job.
I was so surprised—but it made complete sense. Here I was, frequently dealing with writing guilt (“I should be cleaning, doing school, spending time with people, etc. right now instead of writing!), when I shouldn’t have felt bad at all!
Your goal might not be to make a living off of your writing, and there’s nothing wrong with that! It’s very important to discover what your goals are so that you can make the best plan of action for you.
Is your goal to one day publish a children’s book? Start up a blog? Begin journaling consistently? When you can identify your dream, you’ll be able to make it a reality.
Do others know how important this is to you?
It’s really important to let the people around you know how important your writing is to you. I had a discussion with my parents about my short term and long term goals as a writer, then I told them how I thought they could help me get there. And they are.
Your parents and even siblings can help you reach your goals, and the chances are that they want to!
Could it be that they just don’t know what writing means to you? Work on planning a time where you can talk with this person/people and tell them how you think they can help you pursue writing, even if it’s just asking for a block of time each day (or certain days) of uninterrupted time that you can dedicate to writing.
People want to help you, they just might not know how.
What can you cut out of your schedule?
This was something that I had to ask myself… big time. When I started school last year, I had way too many priorities, and was getting myself all burnt out trying to do everything on my list each day. Writing, school, soccer, blogging, learning Russian, and more were clamoring for my attention, and for a while, I tried to give it to all of those things.
I quickly realized it wouldn’t work. So, I sat down with a good old fashioned notebook and pen, and wrote down my priorities in order from greatest to least. I was able to cut some things out, and it made all the difference in the world.
You see, if writing isn’t important to us, we won’t prioritize it! If it is… then we still might not end up writing. More than thinking + talking about how much it matters, we need to do something about it.
At this point, we need to proactively think about the big things in our lives— the things we do on a regular basis and just can’t stop doing.
After you find and eliminate the small things, sometimes schedules can still feel too busy for you to write like you want to. So now what?
While this next strategy is a bit more intensive, it’ll be totally worth it if you really do want to make time each day (or at least consistently) to write.
Track every single thing you do for a full day. If you’re feeling bold, track for a whole week! Yes, everything that you do. From the moment you wake up to when you close your eyes to sleep. This is where you evaluate the little things that make up your day and see what doesn’t need to be there.
After finishing tracking your day (or week), find the random things that took up time that really weren’t important.
For example… Did you spend a total of 20 minutes on social media today? How about the 5 minutes you spent staring off into space, procrastinating on doing the dishes? Did it take you 15 minutes to clean up your room since you were getting distracted by things you found? That’s 45 minutes you could’ve used to write.
Now, before you think I’m guilt tripping you, I’m definitely not. If anything, I’m making myself feel bad… because sometimes I do this! Distractions are so easy to get caught up in, and then it seems like half the day is gone. But when you identify what these time stealing things are, you’ll be able to eliminate them and use your time the way you want to.
Now… How do you make it happen?
Okay, so now what?
This is where you have to think about everything I’ve just told you and put it into action. Now that you’ve determined exactly what you want to be doing with your writing, have fostered family support, and have cut out unnecessary things from your schedule, you’re ready to do what you’ve been wanting to do: write.
It’s simple… just write. Now, you get to work on building consistent writing habits and dealing with writer’s block. Sure, you might not be able to dedicate much time each day to writing, but if you’re proactively working toward your writing goals, then that’s progress! It’s something to be proud of.
Lastly, but most importantly, don’t forget to involve God in your writing process. He knows what’s best for you. He has given you this desire to write, and now He wants to see you succeed. And do you know what? So do I.
I want to help you!
I don’t know about you, but when I have planners, schedules, or any way to track my daily activities, it helps me get things done! That’s why I’ve designed a daily planner that can easily be printed and then used. It has a place to write your priorities, write an encouraging Bible verse, write how you’re going to make time to write, and more! Just click here to grab that.
I’m so happy that I get to serve you!
About The Author:
My name is Leah, and I’m a country girl, auntie, graphic designer, and writer, but most importantly, I’m a Jesus follower. My greatest desire here is that my blog be a safe, Christ-centered community where young women can gather together and find + give support, prayer, and encouragement. I’m here to serve you. Being both a fiction and nonfiction writer, I also seek to encourage young women who want to write and do so in a way that is honoring to God.