Time to Write: What Will You Give Up?

You lead a busy life, but you have a burning desire to write a book. What are you going to do? If you truly believe in your book, you are going to have to give up a few activities to make time to create your masterpiece. Here is a list of things to either cut back on or give up entirely, and some suggestions on how to do that so you can make space for your writing.


Watching TV, surfing the net, or even playing online games – most of us are spending a significant amount of time in front of screens. Cut back or get rid of all this screen-time. If you can't stop, attempt to become more purposeful about your screen-time. Limit it to that which is most interesting to you. A writer is someone who has moved from audience to creator.


One way to carve out writing time is to spend less time socializing with friends and family. It doesn't mean you have to become a recluse and sabotage your relationships; it means setting aside dedicated time for your relationships, like every Sunday afternoon. You should also set aside dedicated time for writing and guard this time just as fiercely. Setting aside time for a dream should generate admiration and respect in the hearts of your loved ones. If it generates something else, that's their problem not yours.


Don't give up sleep for your writing career, but do be wise about when you sleep. Some writers get up an hour or two early or stay up late. Make sure you are awake when life is quiet – kids and friends are asleep, the day job hasn’t started, and the stores are closed. This means there are fewer distractions to lure you away from writing. You may have to go to bed late or rise early, but, remember, your literary dream is worth the sacrifice.


Perhaps you like to play baseball, scrapbook, shop, raise Rottweilers, whatever floats your boat. All these activities take up a lot of time. As with socializing, you don't have to cut them out, but you must narrow the number of hobbies you engage in and limit the time per week you spend on them. This frees up time to write. If you are unwilling to make these changes, you are still a member of the club who wants to write a book, not those who write books.

Passing time

Everyone has a bit of wasted time in their life. You wait in doctor's offices or at the DMV. You have breaks at work and the hour commute to and from work. Wise writers use this time to push projects forward. They carry notebooks. They keep recorders close by. They don't say fifteen minutes isn't enough time and they don't wait for a muse. They use whatever time is available to them.

Some folks can implement all of these at one time. But for others, doing all of this at once can be a shock to our life and to those in our life. If that’s you, then just start by implementing one of these ideas. Then add others over several weeks. You’ll start to see the results as your schedule opens up and you have more time to pursue your writing dreams.

Share this story
Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn
  • I loved the sentence - "A writer is someone who has moved from audience to creator". So true and that's what we all need to shoot for. Thank you so much for writing these tips. 

  • Thank you Molly. We know this stuff inside but reminders are necessary. Im going to follow my daughter who puts what she wants to become on the wall. And it will include moving from member of the club who wants to write a book to those who write books.  And be someone who has moved from audience to creator.

  • Very helpful and also very informative.

  • Offline


  • My husband passed June 2011, 10 months later he contacted in the early hours wanting to talk, my book comes from transcripts from video cameras and my hand written journals of our readings channelled through by a very gifted medium for the last 3 years 8 months. As each reading was one hour of very fast talking on my husbands part, I found I had to give up all social interests including TV completely for the period or I would never be able to keep up. We are still talking to date and I look at my pile of journals and DVD's and know there will be no TV for a while.