To write, you need writing time.  You also need a quiet, empowering place to write.  Throw in a few tools and supplies and there’s no stopping you.

The problem is that we all lead busy lives.  It’s hard to find the time to write.  And if you have kids, good luck trying to find a quiet place to write.

In this blog post, I discuss setting aside a regularly scheduled time to write and setting up and quiet, conducive writing environment in which to practice your craft.

Defining a Writing Time

Write every day.  Write at the same time every day.  Write for the same amount of time during each writing session.  Write for at least one hour, preferably two, so that you can produce significant output during each writing session.  Some people are morning people while others are evening people.  Some people can only find time to write in the afternoon.  Pick a time at which your most productive for your daily writing session.

Setting Up Your Writing Space

Create a pleasant space in which to write.  I know some people grab time to write while on the subway.  Do what you have to to get the writing done, but you’ll do your best work in a clean well-lighted place for writing.  You should write at a stable desk and sit in a comfortable chair.  Practice ergonomics when setting up your computer.  I prefer having my desk fast a wall rather than something distracting like a window, but some like to take frequent breaks to look outside.  Construct your perfect writing environment — somewhere in which the words flow.

Writing Tools and Supplies

Make sure your computer has a decent screen that won’t promote eye strain and a good keyboard that will keep your fingers pumping.

Have a drink at hand should you need it and any writing supplies other than the computer (I have none).

Quiet — What to Do With the Kids

You can not write if you’re being distracted.  Some have a higher tolerance for distraction than others.  Your writing time may be the perfect time to send the kids to the neighbor’s house to play (arrange these times with your neighbor, explaining the importance of your writing time).  It’s time to clear the decks and get writing.

Defending Your Writing Time

Once you’ve established your writing place and time, defend it with your life.  To be a writer, you need to write.  If you will not write, give up on your dream of being a writer.

You not only have to defend your writing time from others, you need to defend it from yourself.  Honor your commitment to write daily at a specific time for a specific duration.  That’s the cost of being a writer — discipline.

I’ll see you in the classroom,