Writing Goals for 2011: Part 1- Making Time to Write

 Setting aside time to write is the most important writing goal you can make. Without actual writing time, you'll never type "the end", query an agent, or make enough money to call your writing a business. But how do you actually make time to write? 

First up, let's hear from you. Last week's post garnered insightful comments from several readers. 

Too many goals? Amy Sullivan points out that she sets too many goals. Depending on your personality, that can get overwhelming. On the other hand, Janette Dolores finds that writing lots of goals keeps her moving forward. Which works better for you?

Maintaining enthusiasm. Janette also mentioned that sometimes it's hard to keep motivated by goals all year long. Choose your goals carefully. Make sure they're not so difficult to reach that you'll give up too soon. A goal like this: "Get published in 2011" sounds wonderful, but there are so many steps involved, it can overwhelm a writer. Which brings me to the next reader point:

Break your goals into manageable pieces. Krissy Brady takes the step of taking each goal and making smaller, monthly goals. The "get published in 2011" goal is easier to accomplish when broken into smaller goals like "finish writing Act 3", "find a good critique group", and "research good query letters". (See Krissy's blog for a free author's seminar this Wednesday.)

Some other words of wisdom from writers in the trenches:

Are you "called" to write? How do you know your desire for writing is not just a passing fad? Author Mary DeMuth shares ten ways to find out.

What if you work full time? (and have kids?) Author Kate Messner, author of nine books in three years, lets us in on her secret of writing when your life is busy.

Writer's Digest boils it down to four ways to make time to write. See if any of them will work for you.

Sometimes, part of the answer is finding a time of day that is most conducive to your writing. Author Camy Tang gives tips on figuring out what time works best for you.

Is writer's block getting to you? Try the advice of author Becky Blanton, who wrote for a year while voluntarily homeless. She's got four ways to write despite writer's block.

And author Susan DiMickele boils it down to the best motivation of all. The mom/wife/lawyer/author shares how her love of writing helps to keep her at it. Even on the bad days.

Do you have more ways to find time to write? 


  1. Thanks for sharing the links. I especially appreciated Kate Messner's description of when she writes. There is time to write, but I seem to get distracted with blogs, internet and a few tidbits around the house. My primary goal in 2011 should be to turn off the Internet more. :)

  2. You're welcome, Stacy. You're right, it's so easy to get distracted by the internet. I use a little free program called Freedom that turns off my internet for the time I specify. Otherwise, when I get stuck, Facebook is only a click away! You can read about Freedom here: http://bit.ly/hTEX8M


  3. Great links! I liked the Writer's Digest tips particularly. Thanks for the info!

  4. Debbie, thank you so much for the shout! You're right that making time to write is the most important writing goal we can make. It's square one, for sure.

    I make time to write in two ways: 1) I tend to write in the middle of the night, when all in my home are sound asleep. I'm a night-owl by nature, and the words flow better when I can concentrate on my craft and not on running the household, intellectually stimulating a toddler and a preschooler, kissing boo boos, etc.; and 2) I use a "one day on, one day off" approach to the internet. I check personal email and Facebook on one day, but not the next, and so forth. This allows me to put my writer's cap on and keep it on whenever I pick up a pen or sit down to type on that "no personal internet use" day. And you know what I've discovered? The world does not end and I do not perish if I read a personal email a day or two after it's written. Gasp! ;-)

    Thank you for your thoughtful post and useful information, as always.

  5. Thanks for stopping by, Jules and Janette. Janette, your comment makes me think I'll schedule a post for managing the temptations of the internet. What a great way to do it! I think I'll give it a try.




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