How do you write a book without having time?


Do you dream of having an unlimited amount of time to write a book? Do you fantasize about life as a full-time writer? Is the reason why you don’t start writing the book you have within you, your work, your family life, the laundry, the dishes, the lunch packages that you need to make, the grocery shopping or your other life obligations?

Have you tried to sit down in front of the computer and get started, but then it just feels immensely hard?

A lot of people live with a book within them, but despite the fact that they say it is their highest wish to become a writer, the book project never really happens. Many also discover that when they do have time to write, it doesn’t feel easy at all. They find that the inspiration fails and the screen remains white and blank. But I have good news for you and it is that you do not need large blocks of consecutive hours to write a book.

You can actually write a book even if you only have a few minutes here and there, or only half an hour on the weekend, 1 hour in the evening… it can actually be done. Write on the commute in the train to and from work, leave the computer open and write a sentence when you wait for your tea or coffee to brew, take dictation on your phone when you walk the dog, write while the others in the family watch tv... it’s all about being a bit creative.

Write a book a sentence at a time

Many of my favourite authors say that this is how they’ve written their books. How do you actually write a book? You do it one sentence at a time. It is actually easier to get started when you just have to take one sentence at a time, because then it’s not this huge mountain you have to climb, not 300 pages you need to find time to write, then it’s just 30 seconds or 1 minute to go write a sentence, or 5 minutes to write a few sentences. Suddenly you have drafted a whole book.

It may well be that the dream is still to have many hours each day to write, but don't let that stop you from writing the book you have inside of you, right now.

It's like everything else; exercise, boring chores, balancing your books, homework, etc. that if we allow ourselves to start with a small thing, we will find it easier to get started and the chance of achieving our goals are greater.

For example, it’s easier to get off the couch and run or walk around the neighbourhood if you tell yourself that it is only for 5-10 minutes. Once you get started, you will find that you may be able to go longer. It’s exactly the same with writing.

Another trick is to drop the perfectionism and decide it’s a success if you write 5 sentences. They don't have to be good or poetic in any way, they just have to be 5 sentences. I often think of it as throwing a lump of clay which I later have to make a masterpiece out of. Similarly, I "throw a draft", a sentence at a time. Later I edit it into something that is good and coherent.

So where can you find a few minutes today to throw the first sentences into your draft? I believe that the book you have inside you can come out even if you are busy in everyday life.