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Writing Takes Time and You Must Make the Time

Updated on October 9, 2013

Time Is on My Side

Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.

Carl Sandburg

One of the comments I receive most goes something like this: I don’t know where you find the time to do all the things you do. Do you ever sleep?

Well, answering the second question first, yes, I do sleep, seven hours per night, and I am feeling quite rested this morning and ready to tackle the first of those questions. Where do I find the time?

The question was raised because I appear to be a prolific writer. On the writer’s site HubPage I wrote 500 articles in 500 days, an accomplishment that left some of my peers shaking their heads and wondering if I was some sort of magician. In addition I write SEO content for eight companies, maintain a blog and submit articles to magazines and newspapers and oh, yes, I am working on two novels.

So, where do I find the time?

Source

The Reality of My Situation

First, consider the fact that writing is a full-time job, and passion, for me. I get up each morning at six, begin writing at seven and continue until four each day. I have the luxury to do that because I am semi-retired and have no little children crawling between my legs while I sit at the computer. My wife works part-time so it’s just me and the three mutts at home each day.

In other words, I have a huge advantage over many writers who must raise children, run errands, work a second job or take care of aging parents. By the very nature of my living circumstances I have more time than most of you have to devote to writing.

Still, I do get a lot done, so let’s take a look at a couple points that I think are very important if time is an issue for you.

The Stones Understood

Schedule time to write and stick to the schedule
Schedule time to write and stick to the schedule | Source

Yes, It Is a Job

If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?

John Wooden

Whether you are a full-time freelance writer or a part-time writer just writing a couple hours per day, if you want to be successful then you need to treat writing as a job.

Think about that for a second. If you were at a place of business doing your job as a clerk or accountant or whatever, you would not rush home to do the laundry or grocery shopping while you were on the job, right? You would not take personal phone calls and chat with friends for hours, and you would not turn on the television to watch the latest episode of your favorite soap opera….and yet that is exactly what many writers do.

Distractions are a way of life, and distractions can derail a writer so fast it will make their head spin and leave them wondering where all the time went to.

My writing time is my writing time. Period! It is not negotiable. My friends and family know that from 7-4 I am writing. If they need me to run errands or do chores then they let me know in advance and I do those things after four in the afternoon or on weekends. Never during my writing time.

If you are a full-time writer then treat your craft like a job. If you are a part-time writer, then schedule writing time each and every day and let nothing come between you and that writing time.

Do you have enough time to write?

See results

And Speaking of Schedules

I am as organized a human being as you are likely to find. Some would call me anal but I prefer not to speak to those people. J

The point is that I have a schedule for the entire week and I rarely deviate from it. There are specific things I do each Monday, each Tuesday¸ and breaking that down further there are specific things I do in hour sets each day.

I do this because it is so very easy to get distracted or sidetracked. I’ll be writing along and then switch to Facebook to see if there are any comments, and then emails, and then, and then, and then, and pretty soon two hours have been wasted, and I don’t have two hours to waste.

So I print out my daily schedule, tape it above the computer, and follow it religiously. And you should too!

Today is Monday. For me, Mondays are article days for HubPages. I will write five articles today and that will take care of my weekly contributions to HubPages.

Tuesdays find me writing for customers until 10:30 and then submitting articles to magazines the rest of the day.

Wednesdays, customers in the morning and then submitting articles to newspapers in the afternoon.

Thursday, customers in the morning and then work on my novels in the afternoon.

Fridays, work on my novels in the morning and then tie up loose ends and pursue other ideas in the afternoon.

As long as I have my schedule printed out, and as long as I follow it, then I get everything done. My customers are happy, my followers are happy and I am happy.

But There’s Not Enough Time

Until you value yourself, you won't value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.

M. Scott Peck

Well of course there is. Saying there isn’t enough time to write is nonsense now isn’t it?

The fact of the matter is that there is always time to write, but often times people choose not to. We make choices during a day, and those choices affect the amount of time we spend on activities. If we are not writing then we are choosing to do something else. Pretty simple really!

Of course there are things that cannot be ignored. Taking care of the kids, running errands, cleaning the house or just our full-time jobs….but….there are also hours during a day when we choose to do some other activity other than writing. We choose to watch some mindless television, or we choose to go for a walk, or we choose to visit with neighbors or whatever. There is down time for practically every writer reading this article….in fact, you are reading this article during down time. Nobody is forcing you to read this article, so you could stop reading it and actually spend time writing.

And if you have read this far then that’s great, because I’m basically done and I got what I wanted out of this deal. LOL

If you schedule your time properly then you have time to relax as well
If you schedule your time properly then you have time to relax as well | Source

So There You Have It

Sorry folks, but there are no huge secrets here. There is no magical potion that will give you more hours in the day. I do not do this with smoke and mirrors and slight of hand.

I accomplish what I accomplish by treating my writing like a job, following a schedule and making time for my writing. Three simple rules that I follow daily and so far they have worked quite well for me.

Take what you need and leave the rest for other writers to use. Your circumstances are different from mine, so take some of this, adjust it to your own situation, and fly with it.

As always, thanks for stopping by and best wishes on your writing endeavors. You are all greatly appreciated.

2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well, Sherry, you hit on the important point....if you write just for your enjoyment then who cares when you write or how much you write...it's just for you. If, however, you want to make money they yes, writing more is necessary I'm afraid. :) Thank you for stopping by and your honest comment.

    • Sherry Hewins profile image

      Sherry Hewins 4 years ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      I admire your ability to stick to such a rigorous schedule. I actually can't say I have much more going on than you have. I've been enjoying not having a job after 30 years of employment. I only write when inspiration strikes and don't treat HubPages, or any of my other writing endeavors very seriously. I know that if I want to actually make money at it I will have to be much more disciplined.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jeannie, if I had a full time job you guys and gals would never meet me. I don't know how you do it but I'm glad you do.

      Thank you for the visit and enjoy your week.

    • Jeannieinabottle profile image

      Jeannie InABottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD

      It's that pesky full-time job that cuts into my writing time! One day, I hope to be semi-retired, too, and all of that will change. I hope to make that happen for me sooner rather than later, too. For now, I write during my lunch breaks at work when I can. It helps a lot! Great advice and voted up!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Glimmer, that is the only way I know of to handle the working at home situation....otherwise the distractions become overwhelming. Thank you and have a great day.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      I think part of my summer slump problem is that I don't treat my writing as a "job", full or part-time. I like the idea of setting specific writing times. I know when my husband worked at home, we knew he was in his home office and he was not bothered. That was his job. Useful hub that is sure to help lots of people.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      marwan, I believe discipline to be one of the most important assets a good writer has. Without it there is no way to find success, no matter the level of talent. Thank you!

    • marwan asmar profile image

      Marwan Asmar 4 years ago from Amman, Jordan

      Great advise bill. You are right. There is a lot of "butt-sitting" in writing. You just have to find the time and sit on the computer. There is much discipline involved were we have to force ourselves to adhere to.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You do that Cat. :)

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image

      Cat 4 years ago from New York

      Lol... I'll keep all the important stuff tucked away... lol

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Careful Cat; don't singe anything. LOL

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image

      Cat 4 years ago from New York

      Billy,

      Ha ha... that's cute and yes, I think I need to light my tail on fire myself!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lurana, I am in a unique position and I'm well aware of it....I hope you can find it one day, for your writing truly is beautiful.

    • MrsBrownsParlour profile image

      Lurana Brown 4 years ago from Chicagoland, Illinois

      I will try not to envy your near-solitary writing time! Your advice about distractions is well-taken for all of us. :-) ~Lurana

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Cat, I am going to live the rest of my life like my tail is on fire. Way too much time wasted in the past, and the rest of this ride is going to be full-speed. :)

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image

      Cat 4 years ago from New York

      Billy,

      That is very true! Good things might come to those who wait, but great things come to those who don't!

      Cat

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Cat, good things will happen to me as long as I foster an environment of goodness. I have always believed that and I see no reason to change now. :) Thank you kind lady.

      bill

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image

      Cat 4 years ago from New York

      Billy,

      My life philosophy is 'everything happens for a reason'; it's the only way I can accept the bad things that we cannot change... finding some good in them. Sometimes we just need a reality slap upside the head... lol. Well, I'm glad you've gotten through whatever it is that got you to where you are!

      Thanks Billy,

      Cat

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Valley, I did the single parent thing for fourteen years, and there was no way I could have written during that time and hold down the full-time job....that would have been a madness that I am ill-suited for. LOL

      Best wishes to you my talented friend, and thank you!

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Cat, life does have a habit of getting in our way.....I hear you, I truly do. That's how I was until seven years ago, and then a life-changing event forced me to find a new way to live. I had no other choice my friend. :)

      Have a wonderful week and thank you for being who you are.

      bill

    • profile image

      Valleypoet 4 years ago

      Writing is presently just a hobby for me, it has to be at this point in my life as I have the responsibility for a young child, ageing parents and a full time job to pay a mortgage. The advantage of writing as a hobby of course is that I only write what I love, which is poetry, and I only do it when I feel like doing it.

      I think you have conveyed the point very well Bill, that freelance writing has to be approached like any other job, and you have to devote sufficient time, and be willing to make a sizeable commitment to make it work. If I do ever find myself with enough time to write freelance I know where to come for some excellent advice...thanks Bill :-))

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image

      Cat 4 years ago from New York

      Boy oh boy Billy, this is just the perfect hub! I seem to have such an 'awkward' schedule, if I dare even call it that, though it seems that I start with intentions and finish with distractions and anxiety! Not to mention... though not diagnosed, I swear, sometimes I have ADD! Not including anything else in life, just keeping up with a 'Hubpages schedule' seems almost impossible. Read and comment on all of your 'Following's' new hubs, not to mention the occasional 'random hubbers' hub', respond to hanging comments on the hubs of others, tending to comments on your personal hubs and writing a new hub yourself? When life interferes or I allow myself to get distracted and I don't accomplish 'all of that' in a day... I'm stressed out, anxious and sometimes overwhelmed! Even after reading this, I'm compelled to say 'how do you do it!' ... but you did make it pretty clear :D I have to give you a ton of credit because it's obvious responsible we need to be with our time to accomplish the things that we want to accomplish.

      I'm still trying to find that 'happy-medium'... I think I'll try implementing something you've talked about here.

      “If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?” ~ That is awesome!

      Hope you had a great 4th of July!

      Cat

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb, they will bury me with my laptop still in my hands. They won't be able to pry it away from me. LOL Retirement is for wimps. :) Have a great week.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Donnah, it's good to see you back. It's hard sometimes...if I was working full time I wouldn't write and I know that for a fact....so good luck to you and thanks for taking the "time" to read my hub.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      I always used to say that I would never retire, but that was before I had other things to do that I really liked. Photography is taking a lot of time, as are birds, compiling stats, planning and working on a blog, working full time, researching recipes for more ice cream flavors, and compiling Boomer Lake. PLUS I need to visit other places for more bird pictures, which I am seriously considering--that will be a vacation. Now, retirement will just be a new work schedule that I will really love.

    • donnah75 profile image

      Donna Hilbrandt 4 years ago from Upstate New York

      Time. I suppose it would be nice to have more of it, but alas, I haven't found a way to cut sleep out of my daily routine. Thanks for this. I have been taking time away from Hubpages and writing, sadly, to prioritze other things. However, I am missing the writing and the Hubpages community. Thanks for sharing your schedule. I think I need to create a rather rigid schedule for myself in order to get back to the writing. You are right, there is always time if we make the time for the things that are important to us. Thanks, Bill!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dora, if I am those things then I am happy and satisfied with my approach. I want all writers to succeed, and sometimes all we need is a cheerleader in the wings giving us encouragement. Thank you for your kind words.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Phoenix....LOL....curious indeed. I watch a lot of British comedies and laugh my butt off at their language. I don't understand a lot of words but I understand the way they are used. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Debbie, it is an honor for me to help these fine writers on HP...someone helped me early on and I'm just paying it forward.

      Blessings my friend

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Liz, I can't write with distractions or even a lot of noise. I need peace and quiet. I am pretty productive when I have those two elements.

      Good luck to you and thank you for your continued support.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      vkwok, it is always my pleasure to help. Thank you!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks for sharing your fortunate experience of having time. It's really no mystery if it is a job; but I think being organized is the biggest advantage. You're a pacesetter, an encourager, an example. Thanks!

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      The first time I ever heard someone use the term 'bollocks' I was clueless to its meaning as well. But I gathered from the tone of the man's voice it wasn't a good thing. Eventually I found out it is the British equivalent of bull***t. The English are a curious people.

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 4 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      You know Bill I have ask that question so many times.. I thought you never slept..lol.. thanks Bill for all your input and your wonderful hubs that help the HUB community.. blessings

      Debbie

    • epbooks profile image

      Elizabeth Parker 4 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      Very useful. I am fairly determined and self-motivated when I do take the time and sit down to write, but like you mentioned, distractions get in the way. I don't mind multi-tasking but for serious writing, I do have to turn the phone off, make sure I have all of my errands run for the day and then sit down and concentrate. One thing I do plan on doing is creating a stricter schedule-similar to the one you planned out for yourself. THanks for posting!

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Thanks for the awesomely helpful hubs!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      PS, I am rapidly approaching a crossroads in my writing. I will need to make decisions soon regarding Hubpages. I won't leave it for sure; way too many friends here.....but I do suspect I will greatly curtail my writing on this site.

      Thank you for taking time from your busy life to read this. You are greatly appreciated.

      And hugs and blessings are crossing the country as we speak.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Anna, I suspect this is a bugaboo for many writers. Best of luck to you and enjoy your weekend.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      mylinda, it reminds me of a saying I heard once....when is the best time to write? Anytime! :) Have a great weekend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Monis! I appreciate you taking the time to visit.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Stephanie, that has happened to me more than once. The gremlins got your first comment. :)

      Good to see you again my friend and thank you.

    • Anna Haven profile image

      Anna Haven 4 years ago from Scotland

      An excellent hub as always. This is my own biggest foe for my writing. Thank you for the insight and I will definately be trying to follow your lead with my time management.

      Anna

    • mylindaelliott profile image

      mylindaelliott 4 years ago from Louisiana

      I love that first quote. I've been thinking about it a lot lately. My last one is 18 years and still at home but I don't have to tend to him. Yes I still have a job and a small business but now is the BEST time to write. :) Great hub.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      I love the way you share, Bill. No secrets. Straightforward and to the point...if we want to write then we must make it our priority basically. Squeezing it in between this and that does not work for me...that is why I do not write more than I do. I only write when I am not committed to other things. And committed to other things that are very important to me is what I spend most of my time doing. But on the days when I am not I write because I love to write ...and read what others write...because it fills this vessel up to overflowing sometimes...

      Have a lovely rest of the weekend....Angels are winging their way to you at this moment ps :)

    • Monis Mas profile image

      Aga 4 years ago

      This hub is about me! Sadly... I really have to get better, and find more time!

    • stephanieb27 profile image

      stephanieb27 4 years ago from United States

      I commented once and it disappeared! :) Thanks for sharing your schedule and the great advice! I believe a schedule would help me a lot!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Suzzycue, it's my pleasure to share what I have learned. Good luck with your new writing schedule and thank you for stopping by.

    • suzzycue profile image

      Susan Britton 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Hi Bill. This was great you showed me your working scheldule. I learn easier by showing me than telling me. You have done a great job here and I appreciate your Hub advice for writers. I am just starting to stay home and write so I also need to treat it like a job with defined hours. Thank you for the tips.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      MJ, I have decided that I am somewhat of a slacker, so feel free to chastise me for the missing 2000 articles.

      As for bollocks, I don't have a clue what that means so feel free to type it. I'm sure it is a good word, right? LOL

      Schedules are only for normal people, MJ, and normal does not, in any way, describe you. Rest assured none of us who know you expect you to follow something as mundane and meaningless as a restrictive and constricting schedule. You were meant to fly free without chains, unless, of course, the local police have you in chains again in which case for get everything that I said. :)

      Have a great weekend buddy, and thanks!

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, I have literally told my family and friends to not disturb me while I am writing during the week. If I had a normal job they wouldn't be able to ask me for a ride or sit and chat for hours....this is my job....period! They eventually understand and know to leave me alone.

      Have a wonderful weekend my friend.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, you are another one I am making an example of next Wednesday. I am very impressed with your Academy Award hubs and I'm giving you the stage on Wednesday in my hub.

      Have a great weekend!

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Bill and there is no doubt, with a full-time job it is difficult to find time to write. By the way, I am mentioning you in my hub next Wednesday.....it's a good mention so I thought I would give you a heads up.

      Have a great weekend!

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Kawi; I will indeed keep them coming.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pearl, I am going to have an excellent weekend. These days are when I recharge my internal batteries and enjoy time with Bev. Writing sits dormant all weekend and I need that, because I do writing 50 hours each week. MOnday I'll be ready to hit it hard again.

      Rest up and get busy on that schedule...make it one you can easily live with and then you can build on it if necessary.

      blessings always

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Suzie, you are a big business waiting to happen. You are right on the threshhold and good times are going to happen for you. Just keep doing what you are doing....and if you don't have a blog it's time to start thinking about making one. :)

      Have a great weekend my Irish friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rasma, every circumstance is different. I am in a unique situation so this makes sense for me. It may not apply to you and I understand that. I think the idea of a schedule, though, works for everyone who is serious about their writing.

      Thank you and have a great weekend.

    • profile image

      mjkearn 4 years ago

      Hi Sir Bill

      So lets get this story right. There are full time writers or part time writers and that's it, is it?

      Bugger I've forgotten where I was as there's a great episode of "The Garage" on the box at present, AC/DC is busting "Hells Bells" on the wireless and Coco has just jumped up on the desk for some afternoon "Yum-yums".

      Now, oh wait, I must go get a coffee first. Ah yes a schedule, aren't they for trains, planes and buses.

      So this writing thingy is a job and requires dedication, determination and talent.

      Oh I'm so happy that I have none of the above.

      Now I thought that you were a teacher of sorts Sir Bill but obviously not a maths teacher unless my numbers are off and numbers is something I like to think that I know.

      So 5 articles on a Monday and 500 articles in 500 days. Hmmmmmm

      I think that means, even with weekends off, that you are missing 2,000 articles, LOL and more LOL.

      I haven't a clue, I know that, that won't surprise you but I mean no clue as to the time of day at your end at present so therefore if I am interrupting your 7-4 schedule I do humbly apologize for tempting you with a distraction.

      But then again you being the man of steel that you are will simply say

      "Oh Bollocks, not MJ again".

      It's OK I hear that a lot. Oops, are you allowed to type Bollocks? Ah well too late.

      Hope you and your Bev have a great weekend.

      MJ.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Martin, thanks for reading even though you didn't need it.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rajan, you see to churn out quite a few hubs so it seems to me you are quite organized.....not sure you really needed this hub, but thank you for stopping by.

      blessings to you always

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      truth, there will always be distractions at home. That is the great challenge for anyone with a home business....but it has to be treated like a business or it won't work. :) Of course, if it is a part time hobby then this article does not apply.

      Thanks for visiting and have a wonderful weekend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Vicki, we are pretty laid back when it comes to household tasks, and gardening is done on weekends when I don't write....as for the schedule....those who know me know that I work a job....writing is my job....and then leave me alone during working hours. :)

      Have a great weekend, Vicki, and thanks as always for visiting.

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 4 years ago from Florida

      Seems like I start each day all energized and determined to stay focused, but every day it seems I get distracted by SOMETHING. I should put a sign on the door "do not disturb".

      Voted UP and shared.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      Schedule, discipline, avoid distractions...ah, sensei again you teach us the way. Reading all the comments you've generated here it seems most of us have the desire, maybe even the talent, but it is the time management that interferes. So, we need to reflect on your words of wisdom and see where we can nudge things into place my friend.

      Remember, I don't always get that seven hours of sleep ;)

      Voted up, useful, awesome, interesting, and shared.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      So that's how you do it? Your secrets are revealed. It does take discipline. For me it's definitely a juggling act. My full-time job takes up most of my day so I try to write in the early morning or at night when I'm not mowing the lawn, running errands, etc.. It is a challenge but I enjoy it and I will continue to find the time. Thanks for the insight into your schedule and how you make this all work for you.

    • KawikaChann profile image

      KawikaChann 4 years ago from Northwest, Hawaii, Anykine place

      Nicely done billybuc - keep 'em coming. Peace. Kawi.

    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 4 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Billy, time management is indeed the name of the game. Distractions are also the name of the game, so setting priorities and sticking to them makes great sense. It is amazing how fast time slides right through your fingers if you are not careful and committed to each task.

      I have given myself schedules in the past, and I stick to them at first. Then something happens, and my schedule collapses. I have realized after reading this excellent article that my first priority is not to let that happen anymore!

      Excellent information that I have Voted Up+++

      I hope you enjoy a restful and pleasant weekend, my friend ;) Pearl

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Bill,

      I loved this article and your organizational routine is definitely working, I still am in awe of how much you get done. I get distracted easily in many respects "choosing to let things get in the way" which needs to stop.With two of us writing it is easy to be distracted too and have a conversation for example. Your spot on with it being easy in reality and a case of adapting to your own lifestyle and commitments. When in full time work I was so much more in control of what needed doing when and establishing routine. Working from home is very different and needs a schedule. I am taking your ideas and although I have tried before I need to do better, much better in fact as I have many different things I want to be doing with writing and that will not happen otherwise, lets be real. Cheers buddy, for a super insight to your routine which is definitely working!!

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      Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Bill I hear you. However in my situation when we can barely keep our heads above the water I have to stretch myself with all kinds of possibilities. Of course, most of them don't work. So I write as much as I can, hope for the best, and the rest if improvisation until I can begin to make regular passive income to turn things around. I do agree that schedules are needed and a lot of discipline. Passing this on.

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      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      I wake up at 8:00 a.m. and write till mid night (with some breaks..eating and such). It is basically all I can do.

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      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Another useful winner hub here which will benefits the likes of me who wish to get more organized with time. I like how you break down the weekly schedule into separate chunks and print out the daily schedule. I learned a lot, my friend. Thanks a lot and have a great weekend!

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      truthfornow 4 years ago from New Orleans, LA

      Very straight forward good advice here. Everything you said is true. Like the idea of a schedule and treating writing as a job ~ if you want to be a good writer that is what you have to do. I find there are many distractions at home. But, you are right, we all have the time for what we really want to do.

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      Vickiw 4 years ago

      Hi Bill, this is a great Hub, and I really like your idea of having a schedule right near your computer. I also like the fact that you have managed to keep distractions at bay. That is the simple secret, isn't it? I have found that to be a real challenge - there always seem to be other things that need to be done. What about household tasks, and I know you love gardening - how do you fit that in?

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Maria, it truly is my pleasure. Thank you for being such a loyal friend.

      blessings my friend

      bill

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Faith, when that day comes I'll celebrate with you from 2000 miles away. :)

      Have a wonderful weekend my friend.

      blessings always

      bill

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Starbucks, Heidi, has carried many a writer through the tough times. LOL Thanks for stopping by.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Next to teaching, Jackie, it's the best job I've had. :)

      Have a great weekend and thank you!

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      Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill 4 years ago from Borikén the great land of the valiant and noble Lord

      Thanks so much Billy for “Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Hi Dearest Bill,

      It is such a blessing to work at what you love, is it not!

      I write late in the evenings, and sometimes into the wee hours of the morning, during the week (sometimes) and on the weekends, as I drive into the city for work during the week. It will be a joyous day no doubt for me when I can write full-time! Only have a few yeas left before I will be able to retire, as I have worked there forever, and I will be set to write until my heart is content!

      Hugs and blessings, Faith Reaper

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      Heidi Thorne 4 years ago from Chicago Area

      I'm a mid-day writer and nighttime. I do have to walk away from the office to really concentrate. The "busyness" of business gets in the way. Thank God for Starbucks!

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      Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Yes we do have to treat it like a job but when we love it, it is the best job we ever had, huh? Take it easy though!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jo, I don't think I've ever discussed my underwear with another writer on HP. LOL I think we'll keep it that way for the time being. :)

      Thank you so much! I am in a unique situation where I have all the time in the world just to write, and I'm taking full advantage of it.

      We did have a nice Independence Day. Thank you! Have a wonderful weekend my friend.

      blessings always

      bill

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      Jo Alexis-Hagues 4 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      And he wears is briefs on the outside of his tights!!. Mr Bill, I know your secrets...there are several billybuc clones working like busy bees on the production line, no?...alright then.

      Seriously; you're pretty amazing!... You are very committed, organized and disciplined. When I grow-up, I want to be just like you :). I hope you and the family had a wonderful Independence Day, my best as always.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Joe, I absolutely love your comments. They are so eloquent....your comments are better than half the hubs I read each day and that's the truth.

      Cal Ripken.....Edgar Martinez....workman who understood the value of training and dedication. May they always live in our memories my friend.

      Aloha and have a wonderful weekend.

      bill

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carol, mornings are by far the most productive time for me. By noon I can see my productivity decrease greatly.

      Do I ever miss a day....on weekends! Not during the week. I have goals I'm chasing and at 64 I don't feel I have too much time to waste. :) Now, if I were 35 like you I might take a day off from time to time. :)

      Have a great weekend my friend.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Karen, I used to do exactly what you are describing...I would get done with customers and then bounce around between projects, and consequently hardly anything got finished. This works for me and I hope it works for you as well. Thank you as always for the visit.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jim, I hope it works buddy! I'm pretty sure it will but everyone is different now aren't they? :) Have a great weekend and thank you!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Melissa, at least you recognize the problem you have. I know a lot of people who continually make excuses and don't see the problem facing them in the mirror. :) I hope sitting down today and making a schedule helps you...you are a very busy woman, so cut yourself a little slack. :)

      Thanks, Melissa, and it's always nice having your visit.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rose, that is very kind of you to say. I have always been a very focused individual (I prefer that to anal....LOL)....but because of it I can accomplish quite a bit over time. I don't know if I would recommend my schedule to everyone, but for me it works.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sheila, I love that you are that organized. Simple things like that can make a huge difference in productivity over the span of a month. Well done!

      Have a great weekend and thank you!

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      Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      Great article, Bill. There are no tricks involved--just straightforward discipline and a commitment to a tried and true schedule. I also like and hope to emulate (soon!) the fact that you have seven hours of sleep each evening.

      That said, there IS magic to what you do, and it's that ethereal substance that sprinkles fairy dust on all of us faithful followers and keeps us coming back for more.

      For me, this was one of the key hubs you've ever written. It was a well-crafted, three-braid weave of personal essay, technical article, and player/coach (think Cal Ripken) inspirational.

      Aloha, my good friend, and have a relaxing and memorable weekend,! And may there be a breeze and thirst-quenching beverages in the mix!

      Joe

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      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      I totally understand this, and I am also very organized with my time..only to juggle some cooking, cleaning, exercise and socializing with girlfriends plus my weekly poker game. I get up at 4AM and find I am so productive in the morning...I am not as dedicated as you are but I do understand that organization of time is essential to accomplishing the goals you wish... Do you ever miss a day..when you just don't feel like it.

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      Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

      Wow Bill, this is great. Thank you for showing us your schedule. I hadn't thought of that. Even though I have set times each day to write, I sort of hop around each day from site to site and keep flitting till I find something I feel I can write about. I think I need to write for different sites at set times or days. This is very helpful. No wonder you get so much accomplished.

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      Jim Higgins 4 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

      Great plainspoken advice that will work if put to use. I waste a lot of time, so I am going to work up a schedule as suggested and see if I can adhere to it, then look at my production, which I am sure will increase.

      Thanks Bill, on behalf of all timewasters out here.

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      Melissa Propp 4 years ago from Minnesota

      Speaking of squandering the time I'm given to devote to writing...I think the invention of TiVo and DVRs was the death-knoll to procrastinating writers like myself.

      Getting rid of the television would be a great move, but then I'd have to tackle that long list of "must-read books"....Face it, some of us always find excuses to not have enough time! I appreciate your advice, though, and agree that putting a devoted block of time on your schedule (even if it is only an hour a day) would be the best move I could make. In fact, I'm going to sit down TODAY and make a schedule. I will find time, enough with the excuses! Thanks again for all the encouragement you provide. It's greatly appreciated by many of us.

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      rose-the planner 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario-Canada

      What a great article! You certainly are a busy man but I like the fact that you are organized because I believe that time management is an important component of success. You must avoid the distractions. You are amazing and so is your writing. Thank you for sharing your talents with everyone on HubPages. (Voted Up) -Rose

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      sheilamyers 4 years ago

      This is a very good hub for people who need to understand they can write more by setting aside the time to write. For me, I needed the gentle reminder. Right now, I'm cranking out hubs, but I know the rate will slow soon. I have a schedule on my computer desk which tells me to write new hub on Tuesdays and Thursdays. That might not always be possible because emergencies (real ones) come up. I take breaks between novels, but once I start writing one, I sit down between 8pm and whenever I go to bed and do nothing except write.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, I wear the anal title gladly and proudly. Power to the anals in the world! LOL

      Thanks dear friend and I hope you have a peaceful, easy weekend.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sally, I am green with jealousy right now. How I would love to visit Europe and see all the sites that I have only read about. Some day, yes, when I make it big in writing. :)

      Have a wonderful weekend my friend.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Alicia, just speaking for myself, I couldn't do it if my list was in a notebook simply because I would forget to look in the notebook....seriously! LOL

      Thank you and have a great weekend in BC.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      DJ. it looks like I'll have to add you to my extensive staff. LOL Thanks for the plug....there's nothing like a little free advertising to make my morning. :)

      Have a great weekend!