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HOW do writers find the time to write?

accountability encouragement mindset for writers permission to rest prickle time productivity tool writing process Mar 25, 2024

What happens when the demands of life get in the way of your desire to write?

How can you fit writing time in when you're so busy?

Short answer: It depends. (I know.)

Medium answer?

1. When your day is crazy full and compact, you can't fit in writing time.

2. Sometimes, you really shouldn't try to fit in writing time (I'll tell you which conditions are your "Are you ASKING for burnout?" red flags).

3. And, sometimes, you should make writing time a non-negotiable. 

Longer Answer:


Sometimes, the day just needs all of you, with no room for our cup-filling (or creative-pouring) writing time. It sucks.

This demand on your time might stretch for days or weeks at a time, either until you set some boundaries or you end up with some cold or illness that FORCES you to rest. There usually IS a light at the end of the tunnel, whether it's a consequence of your choices or not (my Enneagram Type Ones will really appreciate that statement haha). I promise. You WILL write again. WHEN that happens, you'll have A LOT of life experiences to sift through and see whether you can weave those into your manuscript.

Sometimes, the day just needs all of you, with no room for our cup-filling (or creative-pouring) writing time. It sucks.

Sometimes, you really SHOULDN'T write, even if you do find you DO have the time. To expect ourselves to be creating when we're in a season of survival is often setting ourselves up for massive disappointment. If you are in a season of survival -- grieving, going through a sudden disorder event in your life (like a job loss, divorce, etc.), -- it can feel nearly IMPOSSIBLE to be creative. Why? Because all of our processing energy is going into surviving REAL LIFE and we don't also have the capacity to sort out how our characters are ALSO processing and navigating their own trauma. We want to write believable characters, right? Well, we need to figure out how to write from the scar, not the wound. Journal time is different (!!). Please, please, please, MAKE time to write in your journal when you're in survival mode. But for our fiction? That can wait. It'll be okay. The story will be there when you're ready.


When my day feels a little overwhelming and I feel like I’m lacking direction and focus because there are a bunch of little things I need to do for all the big things…

I pause. Not for long because we. have. things. to. do. but also that frantic energy is as draining as it is motivating.

I ask myself if there is anything URGENT. Like, will someone physically die if I don’t do this? Is there a commitment I made where I do not want to let someone down (relational death)?

I do that, first.

Today (and always) that means making sure I’m aligned with who I choose to serve. I have found that I can realistically move the needle on 1-3 things per day, especially as I learn how to be a CEO AND a new mama.

🏡 Something for my family 

- How can I be present right now?
- What will make our home life run more smoothly today? Laundry? Meal prep? Working hard at the job that keeps a roof over our heads?

🦔 Something for my writers 

- What will empower and encourage them?
- What are their needs? (Long term strategy and planning really helps make this happen!)

For you, dear Hedgie, this would be what puts food on YOUR table. Some writers have a 9-5, some are full-time teachers like I was while I wrote and published The Cromwell Rules and Breaking the Rules. Some are fully present mamas.

Pour into what is truly your responsibility and calling. Don’t cut corners. Really show up.

☕️ Something for myself, like when can I schedule in writing time or movement or a call with a friend or rest as a non-negotiable?

Thankfully, with over 60 scheduled writing times available in Quill & Cup, I know there's NO REASON why I can't join except for whatever's going on in my life (ha ha).

The point is, even if I can't make the 7am EST Prickle, there's a 10, 12, 2, 3, 6:30, 9:30, midnight... and, if THOSE don't work, I can call for a PUP (Pop Up Prickle!).

Honestly, once I CAN commit to making writing time a non-negotiable, the only thing stopping me is myself, so if I know someone else is waiting for me (especially if I post that I'll BE at the 3pm EST today in our #sayitandshowup channel), then.. well. I show up.

Ultimately, we have to be REALISTIC about what we can accomplish with the bandwidth we have.

Owning our limits isn't settling or letting ourselves down.

Owning our limits means we can protect Future You and be more reliably consistent with our progress on the stories that won't let us go!

What’s something you REALLY want to do today? When you lay down your head tonight, what would you be sad that you didn’t make moves on? To the extent you can, do THAT.

Make yourself proud, sister!

Oh! And, if you want an even more actionable tool, check out what's been a GAME-CHANGER for focus and productivity for our Hedgies!

Quill & Cup is a fiercely supportive community that serves women from all around the world who commit to showing up to their writing consistently and are open to evolving as writers and people. In addition to working through roadblocks in the writing process by leaning into continued education on writing craft and research-based practices for an empowered mindset, we meet on Prickles -- virtual writing sessions that get our butts in the chair and words on the page! We offer members coaching videos as well as webinars and workshops (an average of 5 per month!). We have over 60 hours of content on craft, mindset, and authorpreneurship available for members.

Would you like to learn with us?  Start your free 7 day trial today! See you at the table soon, sister!

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