What do you give up in order to make the time to write?

This is an interesting question.

Because I write everyday. I edit everyday. I do something that works towards my dream of being a published author everyday. Do I do it in large quantities? No. But I’d like to. I’d love to get thousands of words down on a daily basis . But to do that… something in my life needs to change. Because I’m 26 – I go to work, I go out, I spend time with friends, with the boyfriend… I’m like a little social butterfly most of the time and to write as much as I’d like to… something has to go.

Which makes me wonder… what do you give up to make time to write? Or do you just cram it in whenever you can like I do? Do you like to write a certain amount of words each day? Or just see where the day takes you?

I would love to hear some responses and get a discussion going 🙂

About Jodie @ Words Read & Written

Book blogger & aspiring author.
This entry was posted in Writing Discussion and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to What do you give up in order to make the time to write?

  1. I give up my social life… to write. Honestly… I don’t see any reason to be around many people. People have a tendency to become star struck by me and it upsets my spirit so I avoid them and find my peace among books and words.


  2. Karen says:

    Same here. I have to cram writing time in whenever possible. Even if it takes longer to accomplish my goal – it is not a crime. 😉


  3. Enrica says:

    Hey Jodie, thanks for liking my newest post on Found in Translation!
    Your question is an interesting one, and a most provoking for those people like me (and I think you too, from what I gather) who don’t write for a living, at least for the time being. I think making time to write–when this activity is not paid–reminds us of the extent to which we like this activity no matter what. Satisfaction comes from enjoying writing, from an interior perspective that is not influenced by any exterior factor (like money or immediate recognition or publication of your work). I sometimes ask myself: uhm, I’m really inspired to jot something down. But I should work on my master’s thesis, I should go to the gym, I should do something that appears to be “really” productive in the immediate present. The real challenge is to go beyond that “really” and make time for our passion because that’s equally productive from a personal point of view. That being said, I think that we should not see make time to write a form of “giving something else up,” but as a special need that will only pay off if we try to see it as an addition rather than a subtraction of something else… Hope that makes sense, and good luck with your writing endeavors!


  4. Jay Dee says:

    Not an easy thing to do when you’ve got an almost 2 year old daughter who demands attention at home. I get my writing done during the time she’s asleep and my wife is either out or asleep. I also do some writing at work during my break. I’ve given up a bit of my Japan blogging time for my writing and writing blog. I also gave up pretty much any kind of gaming. My Sims 2 families miss me. Haven’t played them in months.


  5. wordfoolery says:

    This has changed during my life. I wrote on lunchbreak and commute when I worked in the city. Then I wrote during the babies’ naps. Now I write when they’re at school, asleep or out playing elsewhere. I still love to write on trains. First thing to give up – TV – it sucks away time. I follow one or two series – that’s it. Second thing to give up – email/internet – unplug the router/modem for a day and see the difference it makes. You can connect after your words are written!


  6. eriklehman says:

    Personally I have found that most of what we do in leisure is simply a waste of time for an aspiring author. The sacrifices professional authors make are due to a burning desire, most of everything else gets put on a back shelf while composing a novel. Of course we must live, but even then, we are always immersed in our purpose. To break into the published world, we must sacrifice. Some may not understand. They will when your book hits the shelf.


  7. rockyfort says:

    During November I focus on writing. During the rest of the year, I plan on focusing, but I find out that I do a few other things…Facebook being one of the problems. IOW, I get lazy and lose focus.


  8. rockyfort says:

    Reblogged this on Ice Cream Castles in the Air and commented:
    Interesting question here. I basically said that during November, I focus and get things written. During the rest of the year, I get lazy and play around, mostly on Facebook. If you had to answer this question, how would you answer it?


  9. prosemachine says:

    I gave up my comfort and parts of my sanity to be able to pull back layer after layer of my mind to get as close to the root as possible and write with no filter. It’s caused me to isolate myself and lose some friends, but at the end of the day I have words on paper and stories to tell that have potential to live much longer than me.


  10. alexraphael says:

    I won’t write every day, but I will do make sure I do something to make sure I have material for when I do. I would like to be more prolific though.


  11. Hey Thanks for the ‘Like!” I will dovetail with some of the comments here: Write! Chip away whenever you can, have at least a day a week where your only objective is writing and stick to it. Also, if you’re passionate and obsessed enough it will naturally alienate your friends and family. This which works nicely to blank slate the social calendar so you can get down to work. (Only half in jest . . .)


  12. I’m not a writer but, just to put together my occasional ramblings, I need to sacrifice some sleep. Best wishes to becoming a published writer!


  13. kimmerlyaj says:

    Jodie! Sometimes it’s nice for your brain to not think of it as something you have to “give up.” It’s like a diet. Any time we say to ourselves, “I have to give up sugar,” what do you want? Cupcakes! It’s time to shift the thought. Instead of sacrificing something, focus on what you gain. “By spending x amount of time writing today, I gain [progress on my novel, greater chance of being published, practice, etc].” Whatever fits inside those brackets for you should be attributes that actually EXCITE you, not things you think you should be getting from spending more time writing. Why do you want to be a published author? What emotion does that evoke in you? Feel that emotion every time you make your schedule. By doing this, you will naturally “cut out” things that aren’t serving this priority. You’ll see. 😉



  14. A.D. Everard says:

    I’m a real hermit. My only social life is in Blogsville – no joke. My home is closed to outsiders – which means everyone. I have the house quiet because music distracts me and songs totally derail where I want or need to be (I follow the words in my head and am therefore not thinking along the path I need to think along).

    When younger, at school and at work, I just crammed what writing I could into every spare moment, and I always looked for that day I could be alone and have peace and quiet and write to my heart’s content.


  15. hesthermay says:

    i give up movies and tv for writing. i would much rather be creating something than consuming it. it turns me into a hermit at times, and i have to work on not being too lazy with my social life because i would rather write than socialize…
    interesting question!


  16. Writing is vital to me. A couple of years ago I earnestly pursued becoming disciplined, and was most helped by 2 guys: Brian Tracy (Google “Miracle of Discipline”) and Dave Allen (“Getting Things Done”). I also used other things which I have read about [“SDN” and Willpower building, which I blab about on my blog].
    By organizing my life I am able to get everything situated so that I have all of my core energy pointing at spending time on my writing. And this entails slowing way down (or stopping) on video games (which I love). But it’s all worth it.


  17. A Hansen says:

    When your ultimate goal is more important to you than your daily desires, you will make the sacrifices necessary to succeed. Do you want to enjoy 10 more minutes in the shower or free up 10 minutes to write? Do you want the extra 10 minutes of sleep or get up 10 minutes early and write when there’s no one will complain you are taking away family time or not going on date night or missing your children’s sports game to have time to write? Do you want to take it slow and meander around the gym “working out” for 2 hours when it only takes you really an hour and a half? How much time do you spend wandering aimlessly through facebook posts bored when you could be writing? Like I said, when your ultimate goal is more important to you than your daily desires, you will make the sacrifices necessary to succeed.


  18. embrystical says:

    Argh! Every time I see someone address you in a comment I instantaneously conclude that they’re talking to me.
    Anyhow, yes…all my friends love writing in some way or other. I guess I give up talking to my *teacher* about RD because I’m always talking to her about writing instead!


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