OLD POST ALERT! This is an older post and although you might find some useful tips, any technical or publishing information is likely to be out of date. Please click on Start Here on the menu bar above to find links to my most useful articles, videos and podcast. Thanks and happy writing! – Joanna Penn
Writing a book is a sacrifice of your precious time and energy. You could be doing many other things with that time.
In fact, if you have been wanting to write a book and have not yet managed it, then you already ARE doing other things with that time.
Lack of time seems to be the no. 1 reason people haven't written their books yet, so it is the main thing you need to overcome.
You can't have more hours in the day, so what will you give up in order to get that book written?
You cannot give up your family time or your job, so here are some other ideas.
- Give up the TV. I haven't had a TV for nearly 3 years and it is a liberating experience! We still watch movies and download TV programs on the iTunes store, but there is no constant distraction or temptation to watch more than what is chosen. TV is a time suck. Relaxing but it also eats your life away.
- Give up gaming. Yes, gaming is fun and relaxing but how much time do you really need? I recently listened to a podcast of Mur Lafferty's where she discusses with Jay Lake giving up gaming. He noted that for him it is the same part of the brain that games or writes, and so giving up gaming enabled him to write. I'm not a gamer but I have heard this before!
- Give up some social time. I'm not suggesting you stop seeing your friends but perhaps cut back and see them every 2 weeks and keep the other time for writing.
- Give up 1 hour of sleep. Ok, this is a hard one for me as I love sleep! But many people find that getting up an hour earlier in the mornings is effective for getting writing done, especially if it is before the kids get up.
- Give up a relaxed commute. I commute nearly 2 hours per day and use the time to read all the blogs, catch up on key audios, do business emails and write on my little netbook, or even just Notes on my iPhone. I used to just listen to music but found that was a waste of time. Obviously this is only useful if you get the train or bus, but you could also think and dictate your thoughts while driving.
You don't have to go cold turkey and stop altogether, but how about at least cutting back on your hours?
Or give up for a month in November and do NaNoWriMo along with me and many others, and see what you can achieve!