If your employer granted you a day off—eight full hours—to work on your writing project, what could you accomplish?
Can't happen? What about yesterday? You say you had plans for Memorial Day. Then what about the next federal holiday.
As I write this, it's not quite noon. Besides catching up on emails and writing this, I've created a 500-word draft for a magazine piece due Saturday. After lunch I plan to dig into some reference material for a project I've been putting off. And now I have twenty free minutes to write this.
I came to the keyboard this morning with a fair idea of what I would write. I awoke this past Saturday at 4:00 a.m., my mind filled with ideas for the magazine piece. Fifteen minutes later, after recording my ideas, I tried to get back to sleep. But I kept thinking about what I'd post here on May 28. So I trudged to my office with another scrap of paper and logged some ideas.
My writing usually comes in three phases: stewing, jotting ideas, and keyboarding. All are essential, even if I have the luxury of eight straight hours.
This points me to the strategy I learned from Dr. Dennis Henley: If you want time to write, make it. He suggests setting aside two hours for writing each weeknight—four TV sitcoms or two dramas worth of time. At the end of a month, you'll have put in a full 40 hours of writing. At the end of a year, 480 hours or one dozen 40-hour workweeks—three months worth.
Today I might not invest the full afternoon in writing. I've also been putting off a few handyman projects. But while I accomplish those, I can still be planning my time at the keyboard.