How to Find the Time to Write

Are you ready to find the time to write? It can be overwhelming when we look at our week sometimes, and see just how busy we are. When I was doing my full-time PhD, alongside working two jobs, I was really feeling the pressure. Then, I developed a way to move forward and find the time in my week. Here’s how I did it writer, read on to find out more!

Pinpoint Your Time Wasters

We all waste time in our week, and that’s fine. 

After all, life is not just a series of work tasks to be completed – sometimes there is pleasure to be had in sitting on the sofa, switching on the television, and delighting in a little bit of time wasting.

But when this fun time wasting turns into a daily habit, it often stops becoming enjoyable and can turn into a negative practice.

The first step of building your writing habit is to pinpoint those time wasters in your week. How much time do you spend mindlessly scrolling, for example?

Once you understand what tasks fill up your week and which ones you feel you can do without, you can start understanding where space exists for your writing.

Weekly Goals over Daily Goals

Setting daily goals can often be an inflexible way of planning, meaning no space for movement. 

This, in turn, can lead to stress – after all, inflexibility in a routine means that the pattern is most likely not sustainable.

Instead, weekly goals can help you achieve your writing ambitions.

Ask yourself what you would like to achieve this time next month, and then break down your goal into weekly easy to digest chunks.

For example, now you know that you would like to have written ten thousand words in one month, how will that fit into each week?

Your Creative Data

Last week I shared with you a blog post all about your Creative Data! If you missed it, head to the website to take a look now. 

Well, it’s the time it takes you to write. Check out this blog post for more information!

Next time you write, keep an eye on the clock and check how many words it takes you to write in one hour. Don’t race or hurry yourself along, because this is not realistic. Your data should be honest in order to work for you.

Once you know how many words you can write in one hour, you can understand how many words you can fit into a week on a typical day.

Overestimate Your Time

You might be able to write five hundred words in fifteen minutes on a good day when the work is planned, the sun is shining, and the house is quiet – but how many words can you write realistically in one hour?

For example, I write ninety words a minute, but it can be more like ten words a minute when writing creatively. My personal best is 714 words in fifteen minutes…but on some days, it takes me two hours to write 1000 words!

Overestimating how long it will take based on my creative data ensures a space in my calendar for the actual amount of words I’d like to get written.

Plan Flexibility

We can balance our writing routines by ensuring that there is space for some movement and flexibility.

For example, time blocking back to back and squeezing writing in where we can is one thing, but leaving small gaps in between tasks in the day will mean that there is movement for something to change.

This also means ensuring that if one writing session is missed, another one won’t be too hard to find.

For example, I don’t usually write on the weekend unless I miss a session in the week. That option means that my writing routine doesn’t get thrown out if life throws a spanner into my washing machine.

Build a Habit

It takes three weeks to build a habit into your life and three weeks to lose one. So, once you have your writing routine ready, try it for at least three weeks to give it a shot.

Building a habit requires the following:

Cue – An alert to remind you the habit is about to start.

Craving – Imagining the action. Inspire yourself by thinking of how wonderful it will be to write, how it will feel to have the finished product.

Response – The act of writing.

Reward – The incentive to write, whether it’s a cup of tea, an hour of your favourite show, or a pat on the back.

So, once you know what your time wasters are, you have set yourself your weekly goals based on your creativity data. You’ve overestimated your time and ensured that you have flexibility in your week. It’s time to start this writing habit by setting alerts into your calendar.

Once the alarm goes off, don’t ignore it; pay attention and imagine the action of writing. See yourself completing the task.

Hold Yourself Accountable 

Use rewards, be clear and realistic in your planning, and set yourself up for success!

If you struggle with holding yourself to account, it might be a good idea to find an accountability partner who can support you.

This is precisely where a writing coach comes in useful! Through my work with my clients, I hold them accountable to action points they set themselves and investigate any issues that stop them from achieving.

Complete these seven steps and see how your writing routine grows beneath you – try it out for three weeks, and you’ll have a word count to be proud of.

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4 Time Blocking Tips for Writers

If you’re finding it hard to write, time blocking can help. I’ve spoken about this before because it changed everything for me. It enabled me to write novels, complete my PhD, have a family life while working two jobs. Now, it helps me write, edit, coach, and have fun.

What is time blocking? 

Time blocking is the act of putting aside a chunk of time for one task only. It is a productivity technique that combines the function of a calendar with a to-do list.

Here are four tips to help you time block your way to writing success:

Focus On the Big Stuff First

Eat the frog. Have you ever heard that phrase? It means that you should focus on the big thing first in your day and get it out of the way. This action will yield the best results, and it can even limit procrastination. By just getting that thing done that you don’t want to do, you will find the rest of the day is easier to tackle.

Task Batch

Batching together similar tasks means that you will limit time wasted by moving between different levels of focus. For example, answering emails or making phone calls requires a different level of focus than writing a chapter of your novel. If you take a small break from writing your chapter to send an email, it’s going to take you around ten minutes to re-focus on that email. Then, you will find yourself having to re-focus again as you head back to the creative work. Instead, batch together email time and focus only on that until the task is complete. Add other tasks that are similar to this time so that you can concentrate fully. Giving your laser beam focus to one type of task will get it done more quickly, will limit distractions and result in a higher quality of work.

Take imperfect action

By imposing time limits on yourself and your tasks, you are limiting that neverending process of perfection. Perfection does not exist, and taking imperfect action can really get us ahead. For example, if you are recording a reel for your author Instagram and you make a small error, ask yourself whether anyone will notice? They probably won’t, and they know that you are a human being. If you stumble over a word on a Reel, it’s okay to press send. People might just be more endeared to you for it, and it’s another task ticked off your list.

Give Yourself a Break

Time blocking within a rigid structure that has no space for the outside world is not the answer to a happy and productive life. Stuff will sometimes come up that you have to deal with, and that is okay! Your plan is a guide for your day to help you succeed, and if you need to move something to next week, that’s alright. Give yourself a break; life happens.

Have you tried time blocking before? If you want to learn more, check out this free class on my Novel Writing Masterclass – it introduces you to it! If you want to dig deeper, this course is for you. It takes you through the process of time blocking and helps you develop your novel from idea to publication.

Want to talk to me about coming up with your own time blocked writing routine? Get in touch today. I would love to help you discover the time you have in your writing week. 

Are you looking for a similar read? Check these out.

The Time Blocking Tools That Can Help You Write Your Novel
Tips & Tricks for Dealing with Procrastination 


The Time Blocking Tools That Can Help You Write Your Novel

You may know by now that I am a time blocking fan. Put simply, time blocking enabled me to complete a PhD while working two jobs, and finish two novels in one year with time for querying. So yes, time blocking works for me. I use time blocking tools to help me with this, and here are some of the ones I recommend for you!

But hang on, what is time blocking?

Essentially, it is understanding how much time you have to do tasks in your day, and blocking out your time, dedicating each block to a task. Did you know that just one hour of planning can save you ten hours of doing? Seriously – the amount of time planning can save us makes it a no brainer for writing a novel.
Looking for an introduction to time blocking? That’s what I share in my free class right here: Novel Writing Masterclass.

There are so many time blocking tools that can help us, so I thought I would give you my top four! I’ll include the links so you can explore more if you like the sound of them.


One of the most popular time blocking tools and the one you have probably already heard of – Asana helps you keep track of all of your To-Dos in your various projects. It has reminders, you can link it to your phone, and if you love ticking off tasks as I do, it works well.

Perfect for: Collaborations and writing with others. You can add ‘team members’ to Asana, which is ideal if you’re sharing a writing project.


ClickUp has a reputation for being super easy to use, and it is free for the full version. You can manage multiple projects at once, and it even has an inbox.

Perfect for: Single users who want to manage their daily routine as well as their writing routine.

Google Calendar

It’s the one you may already use, and I love it. It enables time blocking through easy colour coding and reminders, and it speaks beautifully to your other calendars. It also adds in tasks for you when you accept invitations, and that is a dream.

Perfect for: The writer who wants to give time blocking a go before they commit fully to it!

The Classic – The Paper Planner

I won’t lie to you – I’m a paper fan. I like paper books, like writing things down longhand, and my weekly planning is no different. There is also something so beautiful about tearing off a week when it’s over and the physical act of scribbling a task out. There are some excellent paper planners out there, but I favour the type with tear-off sheets!

Perfect for: Old school writers, fans of nostalgia.

Okay, so now you know what tools are out there – ready and waiting for you to try, what about trying Time Blocking? If you are ready for an introduction to the practice (as well as other helpful information), check out this free class I’m giving away as part of my Novel Writing Masterclass: It’s Time to Write Your Novel.

Want to chat more about how it works? You can now book a Discovery Call with ease on my website. It’ll alter to your time zone, and you can book yourself in!

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If you are looking for a similar read, check out the following blog posts:

Online Writing Tools That Can Help You Write Your Novel
Task Batching: How It Can Give You More Time to Write