9 Tips on Finding Time to Write Your Book


Do you have the ambition to be an author?

Perhaps you’ve always wanted to write a book? Maybe there’s a great storyline burning away deep inside; a thriller, a romance or crime. It may even be non-fiction. But there’s a problem; something is standing in your way – the full-time day-job, the one that pays your bills. You only have twenty-four hours each day, so with your job, family, friends, keeping-fit, and relaxing, you don’t have the time.

Or do you?

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle penned Sherlock Holmes’s adventures while working as a physician.

Anthony Trollope worked at the post office, and Bram Stoker brought Dracula to life when he was working as the manager of London’s Lyceum Theatre.

Here at MYVLF.com, we talk to some of the world’s bestselling authors. Many write as a full-time occupation, but that’s not how they started. They were where you are now, with a great idea, stories to be told and no time to write. But they overcame the scarcity of available time; they wrote their novel.

We all have twenty-four hours a day, and you need to spend them on what’s most important to you.

Deborah Carr’s Tips:

Deborah Carr was working full-time when she wrote eleven novels under three separate names. Her top tips on finding that elusive additional time are:-

  • Years ago, I gave up watching soaps and used that time to write.
  • If you’re a night owl, stay up an hour later to write. If you find it easier to write in the morning, get up an hour earlier to do it. Even half an hour extra each day will add up to three and a half hours of writing time per week.
  • We all need to read books, especially if we want to write, but some of that ‘reading’ time can be spent listening to audiobooks while driving, going to the gym, walking the dog, freeing up time when at home to write.

Gwyn GB’s Tips:

As a full-time journalist, magazine editor, and also published author and mum to two teenagers, author Gwyn GB says:-

  • If you commute by train, then take a notebook/laptop or even type on your phone. If you commute by driving or walking, then use a dictation app on your phone. If you can’t write then, take the time to think through the next chapter of your book, so you’re ready to write as soon as you are able.
  • Make the most of lunchtimes at work, find a quiet spot in a cafe, library or even empty room at work and set the alarm on your phone so you can concentrate and not have to clock watch.
  • My biggest tip is to get a robovac and avoid as much housework as possible, and don’t feel pressurised to write every day – write when your life allows.

Kelly Clayton’s Tips:

Kelly Clayton is the author of several published books and works full-time in the finance industry.  She shares her tips for squeezing the most out of her day:-

  • I rarely watch TV and am extremely selective with what I do watch. Do you have any time-stealers? Perhaps you go to check one item on the internet and, dazed, realise an hour has passed, and you’ve jumped into a cyber wormhole.
  • I get up at 6 am and can get in at least an hour of writing before work. Fit in your book where you can; try doing short, sharp sprints. Set a timer for twenty-five minutes and don’t stop until the alarm goes off. You’ll be surprised at how much you can do.
  • Treat writing the way you do your day-job. Plan, prioritise, and meet deadlines, even if they’re self-imposed.


We all have twenty-four hours a day, so make the most of yours. Those bestselling authors are where they are today because they got on with it and didn’t give up, no matter how time-poor they were.

MYVLF.com is the world’s first global virtual literary festival venue – where authors talk about their writing careers and books, and readers can find their next great read. A completely free community connecting readers and authors.