To Be Successful at Writing, Make Time to Write

making time to write

Where do you find the time to write?

That is a question most writers ask themselves at one time or another, or all of the time.

I’ve taken more time management classes than I can count and always pick up a hint or two that I can incorporate.

However, I discovered most people taking these classes are the ones who never bother to implement what they learn and the others don’t need the classes in the first place.

I, as well as thousands of other writers, have discovered you have to make the time. Otherwise, distractions will eat your time away – very rapidly.

Allow time to write every day – even if it’s only 15 minutes spent journaling.

Famous author John Jakes originally made his living by copywriting during the day.

He set aside 2 hours a couple of nights a week to work on his writing.

He was consistently diligent and it paid off.


Here are a few suggestions:

  • Write first thing in the morning for 30 minutes or 2 hours (only you know what you can schedule). Do this before checking e-mail.
  • If you plan to write later in the day, set an alarm clock, stop what you are doing and start writing during your allotted time.
  • If you are more effective at night – do it then. Not everyone is a morning person.

As for all of the wonderful newsletters with writing tips and suggestions – how many do you really have to read? Pick two or three favorites and bookmark the other ones for reference when you have time. I had over 30 good newsletters coming to me. If I read every one, I would not have the time to write. Do I miss something? I’m sure I do. But I pick it up another time.

The Internet is a wonderful research tool. However, it is best to limit how much time you spend surfing and stopping to read other interesting articles.

Your biggest commitment to writing is to write. Be sure to allow time for it – even if it’s only 15 minutes a day journaling. If you want to be a writer, you have to do more than think about it – you simply have to write.


How do you make time to focus on writing? Share your advice!

About Maralyn Hill 5 Articles

Maralyn Hill is currently serving as President of the International Food, Wine & Travel Writers Association, and as Co-Chairman of the Conference and Press Trips Committee for the IFWTWA.

She is also CEO of NoraLyn Ltd. and was Host / Producer of over 90 Time Warner Cable food shows; Editor and Columnist, Where & What in the World; Columnist, Big Blend Magazine; Co-author "Our Love Affairs with Food & Travel;" contributor, Meetings Mexico & Latin America; Contributor, Global Writes; Contributor,; Co-author, "Cooking Secrets the Why and How;" Co-author, "Success, Your Path to a Successful Book,".

Maralyn also writes with her husband Norman Hill.

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  1. This is an advice also useful in other areas. Time management may sometimes be hard, but it is important to set your priorities. I would also want to add something – regarding writing, but not limited to that: enjoy what you are doing. If it is something done because it has to be done it will be very different than something done because you want, you are passionate about it, you believe in it!

    Coming back to writing there is another advice: don’t be afraid of the white page. Start writing than go on. It will be easier in time :)

    • Hi Lori,

      Excellent points. I agree with your statement on “enjoy what you are doing.” Many people can churn out words. The words for me that are the most meaningful are from writers who have the love or passion for what they are doing.

      As for the white page, a hint was shared with me in 1983 that is still appropriate. If using paper, just start making circles and then the words will flow. If using a computer, start moving your hands on the keyboard.

      I personally, can’t testify for writers block as I’ve always had too much to share. However, I can say that when I’m stuck on how to say it, I just start, and restart.

      Thanks for adding your comments.

      .-= Maralyn D Hill´s last blog post: Chocolate Sauce Recipe =-.

  2. I totally recognise that you have to make time to write. It is so easy to get distracted by email, internet etc. Setting an alarm clock to allert you is a good idea.
    I like the idea of moving your hands over the keyboard to star the flow. I personally am okay as soon as I find the right opening sentence. The rest then usually just comes out.
    .-= Maria Staal´s last blog post: Spending an Afternoon Back in Time =-.

    • Hi Maria,

      Thanks for commenting. Sometimes an idea or opening sentence will come to me during the night. Fortunately, I keep a pad a paper and pen by my bedside to jot it down. If I don’t, it tends to fly away into dream land. Then I may struggle in the morning trying to find the same start, are realize I just need to start with a new one. Like you, once I have the opening sentence, the rest flows. Maralyn
      .-= Maralyn D Hill´s last blog post: Chocolate Sauce Recipe =-.

  3. Maralyn, I am not as good at setting a specific time but setting a specific goal has really helped me in the last two weeks. Because I now have a word count that I want to meet, I focus myself for at least a few hours every day and push out the words. The internet is a terrible distraction but, luckily, once I start writing, I usually become very focused and don’t need to do anything else.
    .-= Akila´s last blog post: unsettled =-.

    • Hi Akila,

      Thanks for commenting. Your challenge is one I find the most difficult. Because I get so many e-mails daily, I can only spend a certain amount of time, before I start my writing project. Then I can go back to the e-mail. Difficult to pull aways, but it works most of the time. The best is when I don’t look at anything else first, but sometimes it feels like it is calling.

      Knowing your word count and sticking to what the publisher asks is very helpful and important. I’m pleased that helps you stay focused.

      Thanks for commenting.

      .-= Maralyn D Hill´s last blog post: Chocolate Sauce Recipe =-.

  4. Thanks for another great post Maralyn!

    This is SO true – I’m definitely NOT a morning person, but often my days just get away from me, as there are always so many things that need to get done. I love the idea of setting an alarm clock – if I can just train myself to set aside one hour a day using an alarm and a timer, I should be able to pick away at some of the freelance writing projects I have on my list…

    • When I come back from a trip, I’m not as disciplined as I should be because of e-mail and have found I need to say, the e-mail will wait and work an hour writing. It is chipping away. I know we both have so many articles in our head, but other responsibilities frequently push away what we love doing – writing. Thanks for commenting. Maralyn
      .-= Maralyn D Hill´s last blog post: Chocolate Sauce Recipe =-.

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