Friday, February 1, 2019

Need More Time to Write? Just Say NO!

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

I don’t mean no to writing opportunities—say no to some other things in your life. 

We all only have so much time in a day. And if you’re like me, life is filled to overflowing. So that means changing some priorities. 

Sounds easy, but to anyone who’s tried, it can be tough to carve out time for writing.

Here are some tips I’ve used to help me realign my life:

Decide where you want to go with your writing. You don’t have to schedule your time to get there overnight, but to get there, you do need to know where you’re going.

Take an inventory at what’s happening in your life right now. This is also going affect how much time you can realistically spend on writing.

Now answer these two question:

  • What are you doing now, that you love MORE than writing? 

  • What are you doing now that you DON’T love more than writing?
These are the factors you need to consider to begin to map out a plan that works for you.

To help you see how to apply what you've learned I'll share my answers when I first started writing. This will help you see how it gave me a plan for my writing.

I was a stay-at-home mom with three school-age boys. I had a goal to eventually earn a full-time living with my writing. I also didn’t want to lose family time or even what little adult time my husband and I had to spend together in the evening.

My writing schedule developed from these parameters. Every night after family time, I’d retire with my husband. When he went to sleep, I’d get up and start writing. I’d usually write until three or four o’clock in the morning, then I’d go to bed.

In the morning, my husband would get up with the boys and get them off to school. I’d get up later in the morning and be fresh when the boys got home from school. It might have been unorthodox, but it worked perfectly.

What did I give up? Lunches with friends and other daytime activities. I also stayed on a budget so I could afford to attend at least two writing conferences every year.

I’ve never found a way to do it all. But I have discovered there is time enough for what I truly love.

What about you? How do you make time for writing?

Don’t forget to join the conversation!

Learning to say NO is the best way to say YES to your #writing - @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Need more time to write? Learning to say no is the place to start - @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)


  1. Very helpful. Thank you. Stephen Covey stated "You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage to pleasantly, smilingly, non-apologetically say "No" to other things. And the way to do that is by having a bigger "Yes" burning inside."

  2. I agree, Edie. Oswald Chambers said, “The good is the enemy of the best.” Once we figure out what God’s “best” is for each of us, then the choices are clear.

  3. Excellent. Those two questions would be good to ask daily! It's so easy to lose your plan in the sweep of unexpected stuff. Michael Hyatt says that no matter what the demands on our time, we always have agency--there are always some things I am able to say no or yes to, even if we seem at capacity. Good reminder! Thanks, Edie.