Yes, it’s the last Top 10 for the year, and yes, it’s a pretty obvious one. Clearly to be a writer you need to write. To be able to write, you need time. Most of us don’t have much time, so we have to make it. That means cutting time from something else.
What you give up is not always going to be as easy as a few episodes of Master Chef, or the weekly vacuum. Sometimes it’s going to be fun stuff, stuff that you want to do, stuff that is a whole lot more attractive than sitting at your computer trying to drag words out of your brain.
Trust me, when you make this sacrifice you’ll feel like a writer.
I only tend to apply this when I’m in the middle of a project. I have large-ish breaks between projects where the fun stuff is likely to win out. So for me this isn’t an all-the-time thing, but I would suggest, if you want to finish a project, you need to do this.
We all make our writing time in different ways, but my way of doing it is to plan my week in advance. So I can book in that work Christmas party, but I’ll be sure to also block out writing time in the same way I’d book in a coffee with a friend. Once that time is allocated, it is booked.
Here I’ll give you a warning; as someone who is making almost no money out my writing, I find friends and family don’t really understand why I’m saying ‘no’ to them so I can write. So be prepared to be evasive ‘oh, I’ve got something on that day’ (which also helps to make you seem more mysterious) or if pressed, outright lie; ‘that’s the only day I can see <insert name of friend they don’t know here>’. Or if you have more guts than me, just tell them that’s how it is so too bad, so sad.
The key is you need to commit to a time, and then commit to that time. That’s how books are written, and that’s how you become a writer. Good luck!