Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Gift Yourself with Time to Write in the Coming Year

Gift yourself with time to write in the coming year.
by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Most writers I know are part of a conflicted group. 

We’re driven to write—spending time composing poetry, writing books, researching articles. We doodle titles, character names, and plot ideas on scraps of paper. All the while feeling guilty about the time we spend pursuing our dream. I call it writer's guilt.
Everyone of us has felt the tug of war deep inside. it’s all part and parcel when you work at home. 

I’ve fought the battle for years—sometimes more successfully than others. And the craziest thing is the guilt is pretty much self imposed. My family is frequently more supportive of my writing time than I am. So this Christmas I'm gifting myself with freedom from guilt and time to write.

The Gift of Time to Write

Years ago I made a conscious decision to give myself permission to make writing a priority. I gave myself the gift of time to write. Sometimes it would have been easier to avoid the blank page and not risk the failure. But I refused to cave into the fear.

Has it been worth it?

You bet it has! Not only have I gotten farther along with my goals and dreams, but it’s given me a self-confidence I didn’t expect. The more I make writing a priority, the better I get at it. Then the more success I have, which leads to the courage to push myself and reach for the stars.

Here are the steps I took to set aside time for writing:

1. Come up with a schedule and keep regular, consistent hours. Notice I said regular hours—not normal ones. For years I wrote with young children. That meant writing in the afternoons and after they were in bed. Just because you’re working odd hours doesn’t mean you can’t have a schedule.

Respect your dream.
2. Respect your dream. If your best friend, or child had a dream you’d encourage them to pursue it. Give yourself the same support that you’d give someone else. Trust me, you’re worth it!

3. Be consistent. If you’re not accepting calls from your mother-in-law because you’re working, don’t spend the afternoon on the phone with your best friend. Stay focused on your writing. This is even more critical if your time is at a premium.

4. Recruit a support team. Instead of adversaries, enlist your friends and family to help you reach your writing goals. Communicate those goals, clearly and frequently. Ask for their help to reach them. After all, what mother doesn’t want to help her baby succeed!

5. Share your victories. Let those that help you share in the joy of goals accomplished and milestones reached.

What do you do to make your writing time a priority? What interruptions do you struggle with the most? Share your thoughts and we’ll all support each other.

Don’t forget to join the conversation!



  1. Great post Edie. I struggle with setting time aside to write. Your post was just what I needed this morning.

    1. Sheryl, I'm so glad the timing was good! Blessings, E

  2. On the surface, these 5 appear to be of equal weight and importance, but #2 is the most critical one to "get" intellectually and emotionally. It is the difference in successfully implementing the other 4. I would add to #4 that your support team must include other writers - not writer wannabes but WRITERS who are serious and are producing.

    1. I struggle with the time factor, too. Even in my crazy-busy schedule I could set aside even 30 minutes a day. It's not ideal but it's better than nothing! This thing I know but struggle to do!

    2. Jay, you are absolutely right! I have an entire blog post talking about hanging out with what I term, "toxic writers". Good insight - Blessings, E

    3. Amanda, that's a good attitude. "not ideal, but better than nothing!" I spent years writing that way. Thanks for sharing, Blessings, E

  3. Thank you for this invaluable post, Edie! You make some excellent points. I’ve observed over the years that your point #2 is a key factor in failing to be consistent in one’s writing. Many writers do not think well of themselves nor of their dream. On the one hand, they would never consider canceling an appointment with a professional except in the case of an emergency, yet, on the other hand, they continually cancel writing appointments with themselves. Also, I’ve found this problem to exist more in women writers than in men because women seem to be torn more between responsibilities to their families and responsibilities to themselves. You’ve addressed a very important issue here. If God has called us to write, then we must write. We will never find the time to write. We must MAKE the time to write.

  4. If you can't keep yourself from writing, you'll write no matter what your time constraints. I used to get up an hour early every day to write before I left for work. I wrote on notepads at lunchtime and scribbled sentences while I sat at stoplights. Writers are possessed, but in a good way!

    Thanks for the great tips, Edie, which all of us should try to follow.

  5. Yes! All of that! I've been getting up at 5:30 a.m. to write every morning, but lately I've been sidetracked by answering emails, writing short posts, etc. In other words, I've been doing things that could be done any other time.

    Thanks for the reminder that other things can wait and that my writing (my gift to myself) deserves those early morning hours.

  6. Great post! This is the key to getting books written. :-)

  7. This is a wonderful reminder that writing is not a chore. It's so much more. It is truly a gift -- and the time to do it is just as precious.