Authorship, Publishing, Books and More

5 Things to Do When You Don’t Have Time to Write



Don’t have time to sit down and work on your novel?

Some days, no matter how much you try, you can’t find time to write…maybe you don’t feel like working on your novel.

I tell my students they should write every day but I quickly add, it doesn’t have to be another chapter from their WIP. The main goal is to write something, and here are my favorite things to focus on to keep the muse happy.

Make Notes About A Character

Use ten minutes here or there to write a character sketch. It could be some notes about their appearance, or it could be a full character sketch about their background and how they view the world around them.


Back in the old days of my writing career, doing research meant going to the library, but now you can do that via your laptop. Need to research a locale for a setting or a career for a character? Use some free time to do just that.

Write Some Dialogue

One thing I’ve always hated is having ten or fifteen minutes to wait for someone to arrive or an appointment, and knowing it would be pointless to begin writing. I’m one of those writers who once they get into the zone, they turn grumpy if they get pulled out of it. However, I hate to waste that time so I’ve often taken two characters and set up a scene where they become talking heads.  A line here, a line there…great for sharpening your dialogue skills too.

Study a Market

Over the years, I’ve subscribed to lots of writing magazines and one of my favorite features has always been the market listings and guides. Publishers, magazines, etc. that were currently looking for stories or books.

If you don’t have time or you’re not in the mood for writing, spend it looking for potential markets or studying a magazine from cover to cover to figure out what they do and do not buy.


Sometimes the best way to improve our writing or even get back into writing mode is to read another author’s work. I’ve always chosen books written by writers who inspire me to continue working through the ups and downs of the writing life.

Don’t put any minute of the day to waste, there’s always something writing related you can do.


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