Reader’s Question: How do you work writing into your life?

Here’s the full Q: How do you work writing into your life?  I often find myself without any time to write, or if I do have the time, I am not in the “zone”. I am tired, or worn, and so I end up going for months on end without writing. That makes it hard to get better and hard to get anything done. How do you manage this?*

 A: The first thing to know is that you are not alone; the practical problem of sitting down to write is one that every writer has to face. We all find our tricks for simply doing the work.

My number one piece of advice is to set a very, very small daily goal. Instead of beating yourself up for not spending three hours writing, give yourself lots of kudos for making twenty minutes (or even ten!) happen. I wrote a lot of my first novel in ten-minute chunks of writing with my students.

If you want more ideas on motivation to do what you want to do, check out my post on how to eat an elephant or my nerdy but effective way of making sure I meet my own small daily goals.


*Question courtesy of the National Writing Project·and readers of for the National Day on Writing. Read highlights of the event in·this post·or listen to me and four other guests talk about the National Day on Writing for the NWP blogtalk radio program here.


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