Many academics have difficulty finding time to write. Yet most of us, including those who are still working for full-time employment, need publications.
So how do we make time to write?
Different things work for different people and, from my own experience, at different times. What worked when I was single was not quite as productive when I was married. What worked when I was just married did not work when I had little ones. Etc.
So, how do we find time to write?
1. Make it a priority.
If writing is not a priority, we will never find time to write. We just won’t. Something else will always crowd it out.
2. Schedule it.
If writing has to be in the middle of the day (either for your clock or your life), then schedule it. Make it every day at 2 p.m. and if you are asked to attend a meeting at that time, say you already have something in your schedule. (Don’t say what it is. “Prior commitment” should be sufficient.)
3. Write something.
Don’t just sit and stare or do research. Write. Write. Write. Even if it is, as I tell my students, the statement “I don’t know what to write about x. I have thought y and z, but …”
ProfHacker had a good article on writing by Erin E. Templeton in the CHE called “The Rule of 200.” Two hundred words a day.
4. Keep writing.
It’s not a sprint; it’s a long distance race. And, if you keep doing it, a turtle who keeps moving will outdistance a hare who stops. Remember that. Take it as a motto.
When one project is done, start on the next. Keep the writing going. Otherwise, it’s just like stopping exercising. Your skills get rusty; you gain bad habits and lose abilities.
Prioritize writing. Schedule writing. Write. Keep writing.
That’s how I recommend finding time to write.
Dr. Crazy also has a recent blog post on what counts as writing.