Making Time to Read and Write – An Author’s Guide

Fall colors from 2013 – Phoenix – © S. Hendricks

I have been working on a system over the last several months, maybe unknowingly longer, to carve out time for both reading and writing. As an author I must stay up-to-date with current market trends and what is out there regardless of the age level.

Working full-time or/and having children can limit the time you have to do both and most often neither of them (writing and reading) are accomplished.

When writing a story one needs to focus and remove all distractions. Yet how can this be done when you know you have to read this, or that, make dinner, scrub the toilet, walk the dog, pick up the kids, go to work, exercise, and see that movie you have been wanting to see???

I have worked out a system that works quiet nicely, and I hope that it works for my writing friends that are struggling with finding time to do it all.

I set a goal to write or edit one chapter a day. I don’t set what story it needs to be or a time limit or word limit. I simply remind myself that today I need to work on the next chapter. Once that chapter is done I can be done. I also set a one chapter rule for reading a book (for children’s picture books, it equals one book). This allows my wandering mind to focus, even if for a short time!!! Some of my chapters are 100 words, some are 1,200 words.

I know that I must push through the chapter whether I am reading it, writing it, editing it, or just starting it. Some days/evenings I get both a chapter of my story done and a chapter of a story read.

What things do you do to reach your daily goals?



  1. A very helpful post! I find it extremely difficult to stick to a daily formula. I certainly have tried. I like to block out 1-3 hours to either write, revise, or read. I’m still able to do that, just not everyday.

  2. Hooray for your one chapter method! It won’t work for me, but that doesn’t matter. It’s something to keep in mind. My goal is to get up about six each morning and write before my retired husband wakes. Having any kind of a plan is a step toward a goal. Happy writing!

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