"I'm too busy to write."
"My kids take up all my writing time."
"I just don't feel the inspiration."
"Work is keeping me from doing what I want."
I don't know about you but I'm sick of hearing excuses like this. The problem is, most of these are from my own mouth. And I'm done. Maybe you are, too. Excuses don't make a writer. Writing does.
But how do you make enough time to actually sit down to the task? Simple: you just do it. Throw expectations, worries, stress, and everything else out the window. Even if it's only for a few minutes, we all can find the time to write every single day if we really want to.
1. Five minutes
Whenever an extra five minutes lands in your lap, grab your notebook. Boot up the computer. Open your iPad. Write. And, whatever you do, don't listen to that nagging little voice that says, "You need at least [insert time frame here] to do this properly." You don't. You just need to write, period.
2. Wake up
I love sleep. My teenage self would have been horrified to know how much I would one day adore curling up in a soft, cozy pile of blankets. But to get anywhere in the writing world, we sometimes have to give up a little sleep. Not too much, mind you, or we'll all become zombies. But sacrificing twenty minutes or an hour here and there might just mean the difference between "finished manuscript" and "no manuscript."
3. Plan for alone moments
Even on weekends. Set your alarm clock early, drive to an isolated area, lock the door to the bathroom...whatever it takes, set up a time you can be completely alone and stick to it. Even if it's only for five minutes.
4. Talk to yourself
Buy a voice recorder or call your own voicemail. Talk out your ideas, character conversations, or titles. Do this to and from work, on the way to school, or as you run errands. Then use your five minutes later to transcribe your daily recordings.
5. Turn off the electronics
How many hours a day do you spend texting, emailing, checking out Facebook statuses, or laughing at funny cat pictures? Today's world is very interconnected in this way. But think of all time spent on the internet being applied to your work-in-progress. Do you have enough time now to write? I know I would. Sometimes, it's good to unplug from everything (and I mean everything - no cheating with a phone or iPad).
Get away from all the above distractions. Write for five minutes, whatever comes to mind, even if you think it's nonsense.
Once you're done, look at your handywork. Be happy with it, even if it's imperfect. Don't tear yourself down. You accomplished something you didn't think you had time for - enjoy it!
Post your practice session in the comments. Let us know what you liked best. Then do it again and again and again until five minutes a day (or your own ideal time frame) is a habit. Ultimately, have fun!