Monday, May 18, 2020

When You Don't Have Time to Write by Patty Nicholas-Boyte

I read a question on social media the other day from someone who was sincerely looking for advice on how to get writing done as she was a mother who also worked outside of the home, sixty hours a week.

I anxiously scrolled through the comments looking for answers. My children are grown and out of my home, but I have an extremely busy schedule. I work forty plus hours a week, am involved in women’s ministry, plus I am navigating the waters of a new marriage.

And like most of you, I’ve also been trying to figure out how to work from home during the current Covid-19 pandemic. What is an author to do, especially when deadlines are looming ahead?

The answers that followed that question ranged from doing short bursts of fifteen minutes of writing, schedule one long day per week, to a marathon writing session once a month. All great pieces of sage advice.

I employ most of these strategies myself and they all work well depending on where I am on a project or deadline. What I didn’t share, as I needed to get back to my own work in progress, was these three things which I use the most. I thought I would share them here with all of you lovely writers.

Three things I use the most when I don't have time to write.

  1. Set a specific time to write and stick to the schedule. I set my alarm for four in the morning, and with few exceptions, I get up each and every day at that time. I am able to get more accomplished during that time of day than one might think. 
  2. Pray. I make sure I take the time for bible study and prayer before I write. When I have spent time with God, words and thoughts flow, and I know I am working in His strength, and not my own. 
  3. Writers Sprints. I have an accountability, writing partner, who I can brainstorm ideas, as well as share struggles. We try to set aside one morning a week where we can talk about our work in progress, and then sprint write in short bursts. I get more writing done during these sprints than I can in an hour of writing on my own. 

The other piece of advice I would offer would be to try all of the strategies people throw out there and see what works for you. What might work well for one person may not work for another. I know well the struggle of trying to get thousands of words written in a week to attain my goals and deadlines.

The only real failure is giving up. So please keep at it, slow and steady will win the race.

Multi award winning writer. Patty Nicholas-Boyte writes Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense, Bible Studies, Devotions and Blogs. Patty lives with her Husband Brian in the mountains of North Carolina. She is a busy event planner for the Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove. She is a member of the Blue Ridge Writers Group and a member of the Suspense Squad a group of romantic suspense writersShe is a mother of two grown daughters and grandmother of three. 

She is a regular contributor to the Billy Graham Training Center Cove Blog.

Devotions are published in compilations by Lighthouse Bible Studies.