June 3, 2020

14 Tips to Help Manage Time To Write

Edie Melson    @EdieMelson

I think one of the biggest obstacles writers face is finding the time to write. It is a common myth to think that time just magically appears.

Truthfully, we never find time to write, instead, we must carve out time to write.

That is what separates the wanna-be from the professional.

Tips for Finding Time to Write:

1. Make an appointment. I have learned that if I do not have it on my calendar, it does not happen. For me, that is true. My days fill up fast, but if I have a time scheduled to write, then it happens.

2. Quit with the guilt. For some reason we make everyone else’s dreams and goals a priority. Why do we neglect our own? Is God’s call less important because it is me?

3. Get ready to make choices. Truthfully, you cannot do it all. No one can. How important is writing to you? If you are like me, you cannot live without writing.

4. Watch the clock (especially online). It is not enough to sit down at the computer. We also must turn off the Internet and actually write. Surfing social media does not count. Reading blogs about writing does not count.

5. Do not go it alone. Yes, the act of writing is a solitary process. But you still need a tribe. We need encouragement, accountability, and honesty.

6. Evaluate your writing buddies. Yes, we all need writing buddies. But they need to be working writers. Not people who like to sit around and talk about writing. You need people who will hold you accountable, not people who will help you come with excuses not to write.

7. Be courageous. Failure is not the worst thing that can happen to a writer. Often failure teaches us more than success. The worst thing that can happen to a writer is to not write.

8. Learn to write when you do not feel like it. This is one of the biggest differences between the professional and the amateur. The pros know you must write whether you are in the mood or not.

9. Be willing to write junk. So often you have to write junk to get to the jewels. The only thing you cannot fix is a blank page.

10. Schedule a write-in. Make a date, meet some friends at a local coffee shop and write. Having a group will spur you to higher word counts and amp up the accountability factor.

11. Build in rewards. When I set a goal, I like an incentive. So, I build in small rewards for making word count.

12. Take a break. When I get stuck, it helps to do something. I take a short walk, do a quick chore like load the dishwasher. The physical action stimulates my mind. It is also healthy for your back.

13. Write in the spaces. Some days we only have short bits of time in which to write. It is a myth that we must have large chunks of time to get something done. An hour is still an hour, even if it is broken into fifteen-minute chunks.

14. Write regularly. When I started out, my kids were young. I could not write during the daytime. So, my husband and I worked out a schedule that worked with our lives. It was not a normal schedule, but it was a schedule.

These are my tips to carve out time to write. What would you add to the list?

Edie Melson is the author of numerous books, including the bestseller Connections: Social Media and Networking Techniques for Writers.

She’s the co-director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, Social Media Director of Southern Writers Magazine and board
Member of the Advanced Writers and Speaker Association. 

Visit Edie on and through social media.

Visit Edie at
Twitter: @EdieMelson
Facebook: Edie Melson


  1. Edie,

    Thank you for this great series of tips. It is hard work to write--and takes a lot of effort. Sometimes writing in a different spot helps. I'm still using my Alpha Smart (old technology) buy one on Ebay for $20. It is a full-size keyboard but holds over 100 pages and runs on a couple of batteries--only for keyboarding and not connected to the internet. You can use it anywhere--like on your back deck or on the go. I've written on airplanes and many other places. Use these types of tools to get even more writing time.

    author of 10 Publishing Myths, Insights Every Author Needs to Succeed

  2. I have to take a med in the morning, then wait 30-45 minuted before I can eat. That is when I look at social media. My coffee hasn't hit my brain enough to write yet, so it's perfect. The net time I look is while I'm eating lunch. That works for me.

  3. Fantastic tips Edie.I am making a copy of these and posting by my computer.

  4. Edie, your tips on writing are always so useful. Thanks for these. (Now back to my manuscript. :)