busy

10 WRITING GUIDELINES FOR BUSY PEOPLE

Setting my feet on the ground that day was the end of it all. Maybe if I had admitted earlier that I’m a busy person, things would have ended up differently. I did my morning rituals and planned out my day in my journal with writing being the top on the list. But the day was “nice enough” to make me go to bed without writing a word.

Would you believe if I told you that being busy was never enough an adjective to describe my regular day? Well, that’s the truth I had to believe myself. But, it’s not a bad truth: I’m just like many other writers who had probably had a job in the corporate world. But if you’re like me, you will really appreciate what I’m about to share with you today.

What you should know…

One of the first things you must understand is that even the most effective of writers requires practice. Truthfully, an absolute way to become better at writing is to write and keep at it. But here you are: you’ve created a writing space, carved a writing niche, yet you keep piling up your writing endeavours with no rescue clue in sight. Now, don’t beat yourself up – you just shouldn’t. You only need a way to strike a balance amidst your family, job and writing without letting one suffer extremely.

Personally, I have a word for parents, especially nursing or stay-at-home mums who are writers. It’s never as easy a thing as sliced bread;  managing a home, having a corporate job and toddlers to take care of (and a grown man who is constantly in your space too), and coupled with your desire to write as a means of making extra income. If all these are not well managed, it may find it hard to put them together.

That is why I have carefully put together the following practical steps to help you as a busy man or woman that you are. So, if you are a banker, doctor or whichever time-demanding job you do to make a living, these guidelines are able to help you get a hold on writing in your daily life and also help you make the best of it.

So, here’s what to do

Admit your busyness

To thyself, be true. It is okay not to find time for writing. It’s not the end of the world because you are not alone in it. The first thing you need to do is to be real with yourself and admit that you truly have little or no time to do the many things on your queue, especially writing. Doing this will bring you into a genuine state of self-awareness and you will be able to think through the solutions you need.

Forgive yourself for not crushing your daily writing goal

How do you feel when you wake up to see long lists of unfulfilled writing desires? Or what do you do when you know you should have authored your book but you haven’t? Most of the time, we are quick to judge ourselves as lazy, unfocused or not disciplined enough to achieve that goal, especially when you see others achieving theirs. I also find myself doing this sometimes and I have realised it is not the best place to be. So, forgive yourself for not achieving your writing goals, and move on to ways to make you realise them.

Believe

Many of the great things of life begin with the mind. This does not exclude writing. Know that you are not the only busy person on earth and don’t think it is not possible to fit writing into your schedule. Many other busy people crushed their writing goals, became authors and are doing so well with writing. Yes – you can still write with the little time you have. Elna Cain began her freelance writing while she had toddler twins to take care of as a stay-at-home mum. I love to believe in possibilities and this has helped me so far in writing. Knowing that many busy people have also had their writing goals crushed is a good way to motivate you to do the same.

Redefine writing

What exactly does writing mean to you? One of the things I did when I kept struggling to find balance with my life, work and writing was to carefully define what writing is to me. Now, I  constantly remind myself of how important it is to the core of my being. Writing, to me, is more than a hobby or a pass-time. It is my personal delivery tool through which I communicate to my world.

As such, I got to know that even when I fulfill all other requirements for my day, I do not still feel fulfilled when I have not written. And this has helped me plan for it. Rightly define what writing is to you and what you intend to achieve with it, and what will be at stake when you do not write. A proper understanding of this will help you position your decision to write correctly and generate the required energy to drive it.

Have a Content Schedule

Build yourself a schedule for your content every week. How do you plan to run your writing activities through the week? Have a plan; put pen to paper and write what you intend to do from Sunday to Monday; and do not forget to fit in your resting time. An example of a content schedule as a blog writer could be:

Monday: Prepare topics for the week

Tuesday: Research, draft the first content and submit for editing

Wednesday: Create designs for the first content and post on the blog

Thursday: Research, draft the second content and submit for editing

Friday: Create designs for the second content and post on the blog

Saturday: Enroll for writing courses

Sunday: Rest

Planning each week has a way of making your day unchoked and organised enough to achieve your daily goals.

Find out your free times

Get to know the times of the day that are free for you and fit your writing into it. If you spend a lot of time commuting to work in the morning, you may want to spend that time writing. You may also need to restructure your entire day and sleeping hours by waking up 30 minutes earlier to write, or taking few minutes to do the same before bedtime. I write best around 4/5am and 4/5pm. It all depends on whichever time works best for you and on the times you are more likely to find your writing muse.

Don’t wait till you sit by your laptop; use your phone!

Too many times we have found ourselves robed in procrastination by trying to wait for the perfect time to write. As much as I like to have enough space to write with larger interface and all, I have realised that I don’t have to wait till I have that opportunity when I can use my phone. So, regardless of where I am, when an idea comes to mind on what I intend to write on, I just begin with my phone, save it on my online drive until the time to continue with my laptop, and that is it. Done!

Make use of voice notes

You will find this very helpful, especially when you are writing a book. Create audios and record voices over your phone when you don’t have the free time to write. Perhaps, during weekend, you may just have to transcribe, and before you know it, you would have achieved milestones over weeks and crushed your writing goals despite your busy schedule.

Care for your muse

I easily joke with many things but not my writing muse. And if you are like me, you would find this very essential. Your writing muse is your inspiration and what gets you writing, especially when you don’t feel like. So, what is your writing muse? Do you love to listen to good music while writing, or you prefer to write at the sight of beautiful arts or by the table light? This could be your muse. So, take it as a guide to care for it as it will help you get better in the process of writing.

Keep writing when it’s no longer fun

Don’t stop writing, even when it looks like you don’t enjoy it. If you stop every time you don’t feel like writing or when it seems uninteresting, the book you intend to write may never get to see the light of day. If you go to your work and do other important things of life regardless of how you feel, there is nothing that makes writing less important.

It is normal not to feel like writing, so don’t think it is a writing block or a total loss of your writing skill. You may have to take a break for some time, relax, take a nap, or snack on something, then resume to it. But, don’t give it all up. Keep writing.

No more excuses

How do you feel to know that you can still write with the little time you’ve got? Elated, right? Of course! You can do much more with the time you have to get on your writing goals and crush them. Take on these guidelines, apply them to the core of your being and see yourself emerge as the writer and author you have always aspired to be.

Do you want to learn more about writing and how to master it regardless of your busy schedule? You should check this. And did you find this piece so relatable? I sure love to hear from you in the comment section below!

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