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Five W’s of Writing: When Do You Write?

Five-W-whenThis is the third in a series of five articles applying the Five W’s of Journalism to writing for publication. The Five W’s are: Who, What, When, Where, and Why.

You’re a writer. Writers write—but when? Whether you have a day job or not, making time to write can be a challenge. Here are some techniques that have worked for me.

Write at a set time each day.

“Write for at least one hour every day,” say writing teachers. That means working on your actual writing for one hour, not on market research, networking, or participating in a writers’ group. Whether it be first thing in the morning or after your day is done, writing at the same time every day works well for many writers.

Noted Christian author, Jerry Jenkins, says he has always made time to write every day, no matter what. At a conference a few years back, he said he wrote every day even when he had a full-time job and a family. But, he did his writing after the children went to bed. He joked that he sometimes wanted them to go to bed at 4:00 p.m.

Write during your waiting time.

Take a notebook or computer with you when you know you’ll be trapped in a waiting room or on public transportation. If you don’t have a current project, jot down topics you’d like to write about. Make tentative outlines. Journal on a topic that strikes your fancy. Just write when you have the chance.

For several months, I spent a lot of time in hospital rooms and waiting rooms. I outlined several articles and even finished one major project while waiting in medical facilities. At some facilities, I even had access to free wireless Internet service. Be ready to write when the time presents itself.

Write when you have to.

Nothing like a little pressure to make a writer produce. I do my best writing when I have an assigned topic and a deadline. I know the worst thing a writer can do is to disappoint an editor. I never want to miss a deadline, so I get serious about getting the job done. No editor to crack the whip over you? Be your own editor. Make a list of articles or stories you’d like to write. Assign a realistic deadline to each of item on the list. Then, start writing. You don’t want to disappoint your editor!

When do you write?

Readers, share your writing routine by commenting on this post.

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2 Responses to Five W’s of Writing: When Do You Write?

  1. Cecelia Lester May 26, 2015 at 1:16 pm #

    I write when God gives me the words. It might be in the morning or in the evening. I prefer the mornings because the house us quiet. Today, I slept in a bit. Then I had devotions and had to meet some friends for prayer. I usually rise at 7:00 and then start my day. I really need to do better about the rising time. I have the issue of liking later night shows, then I can’t always sleep as I should.

  2. Emily Akin May 27, 2015 at 10:34 am #

    I like your attitude, Cecelia: “I write when God gives me the words.” It’s definitely hard to get in a routine when you are the one setting your schedule.

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