Pat Iyer

By Pat Iyer

You Can Integrate Work and Home Time When You Write a Book

You Can Integrate Work and Home Time When You Write a Book 150 150 Patricia Iyer

Have you been longing to write a book and not begun because the project seems too huge? The challenge of finding the time to write stops many would-be authors, but it doesn’t have to stop you.

Many authors write books while managing full-time work and family life. They do it by finding bits of time they can use for writing.

Begin by tracking your time for a week. Make useful categories: work, watching television, on the Internet, reading, exercising, eating, commuting, etc. Be honest about how you spend your time. People often get shocked when they see how much time they spend watching TV or Internet surfing. Instead, you can rejoice that you’ve found the time now available for writing.

Make an Outline

Outlines are essential. They create a framework for your book. People often get lost when they try to include too much material and too many topics in their books. They end up with an unwieldy mess and spend excessive time trying to edit the pile of pages into a reasonable—and readable—number.

When you work, instead, from an outline, you greatly reduce the amount of time it takes to write the book. It’s much easier to revise an outline than a completed book.

If you know someone who is an experienced writer and willing to help, you can show them your outline and get feedback.

How to Use Your Work Time for Writing

I don’t mean by that to write your book when you should be working. You can, however, make notes for a book on your lunch hour. You can look over your outline. If you drive to work, you can dictate ideas to your phone. You can listen to podcasts or books on writing.

Lunchtime is a good time to work on outlining your book or for re-reading things you might want to put in it. These could include blogs or position papers you’ve written.

How to Use Your Home Time for Writing

Take an honest and searching look at the way you use your time. Look for areas where you can cut down. Consider this a time reduction diet. You may need to use the Internet for research, but you will also need to use that time in a disciplined way. Resist the temptation to deviate from your intention to look up information you need for the book.

If you exercise at home, you can also be listening to podcasts or audiobooks about writing.

Time spent watching movies or television with the family may or may not be quality time. If you and the others in your family are vegetating instead of sharing, you may want to either reduce this time or think of introducing family activities that are more meaningful.

You Can Make All Your Time More Meaningful

While the principal advantage of seeing how you spend your time and changing your habits may seem to be that you find time to write, you can also realize the benefit of getting more value from your time in general. This kind of appreciation is something people often realize when they restructure their use of time.

And getting a completed book from this restructuring will provide a great reward.

Pat Iyer has written 49 books – one book at a time. Connect with her to discuss her skills as an editor and ghostwriter. Go to