Solving the “Not Enough Writing Time” Problem

Written by: Mary Yamin-Garone, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

Having your own book can be the ultimate marketing tool for your business. It also can:

  • Demonstrate your expertise/knowledge

  • Establish you as an authority in your field

  • Brand your business

  • Instantly boost your credibility.

  • Attract higher-end clients

  • Expand your business

Most important, it can give you the edge you’re looking for in today’s economy.

With all these benefits, you’d think professionals would have their own book.

That’s not the case.

While roughly 81% of us want to write a book someday, most of us never start. Of those who do, never finish it.

So, what’s the number one reason people give for not writing—or finishing—their book?

Not. Enough. Time.

Everyone wants a piece of you.

Your business wants you. Your family wants you. You want you.

You also want to eat healthy, exercise, and sleep well so you can create the positive energy necessary to write that book.

Consider these:

  • Writing a book will take a chunk of time and energy.

  • Your life is already full, and you have don’t have any extra time.

You just don’t sit down and write a book.

Given those facts, how can you make the time to write the book swimming around inside your head? You know, the one that’s been calling to you to write for months, even years.

As a book coach, I’m full of ideas about how you can solve that “not enough time” problem.

Here are some you can easily implement.

Act on your deep desire to write a book.

Put your book project on the front burner as one of your top three priorities. Whatever you want from your book, imagine it vividly, then write it down. That’s one of the most important pre-writing exercises. Your desire is what fuels your ability to keep on going even when you want to quit. Review your manuscript/story whenever your motivation starts waning. Better yet, review it daily.

Getting started.

Many of us have the urge to write a book but can't seem to get started. When people come to me, they almost all say the same thing: "I know I can do it if I only knew how to begin." So, they wait for that magical idea that will inspire them to start.

Ideas don't come to those who wait and think. They come to those who act. Pick a story that feels "wrong" —those are always easier to find than ones that feel "right." Write a brief summary of the story, and make sure you finish it. Then pick another story and repeat.

Set a weekly, monthly, and yearly goal.

Whether you’re writing a novel, a non-fiction book, or -*publishing a series of articles, you must have goals. Without them, you don’t know where you’re going. You’re just floating around, and you’ll never feel like you’ve done enough.

Start by deciding what the deadline will be for completing your first draft. From there, you can calculate how many words you’ll need to write each week. Write down your word count goal. Set a reminder on your phone. Put it on your fridge or tape it to your partner’s forehead. Whatever it takes to get it done. You need to keep your goal visually accessible so you can celebrate your successes.

Once you know what keeps you from writing and what you’d like to get accomplished this week, month or year, spend the next 15 minutes making progress on your current goal. If it’s time to outline a new book, do it. If you need to finish a chapter, that’s your project.


If you don’t choose to prioritize your book project, it won’t happen. I’ve experienced this hard truth when clients aren’t fully committed to finishing their book. They leave disgruntled. Not at me but at themselves.

To avoid that, list the things you do that take up blocks of time. Can you hire someone to clean your house or take care of the yard? How much television do you watch? Can you forego that time to work on your book? How about going to bed earlier and getting up earlier?

Start with small blocks of time.

There are many resources for managing your time better, such as using to-do lists, reward yourself or skip ahead when you get stuck. Even spending 10 minutes jotting down ideas for your book, researching or writing will add up.

Here’s a tip I’ll share that helped me be a more productive writer. Set a time to write for those 10 minutes. Don’t let anything keep you from sitting down and writing. It doesn’t matter what you write. The objective is to train yourself to write “on demand.” You won’t believe the power of this simple exercise until you try it.

You don’t NEED to schedule a block of time. You can write the beginning hooks for the first chapter. Or you can write the middle chapter or any chapter in between.

Decide what your book will be about.

Once that’s done, you can break it down into bite-sized pieces. Start by brainstorming everything you want to include in your book. Next, arrange them into chapters in some type of logical order.

When it’s time to write, select one thing to do that will move you ahead one step. It could be writing down more ideas for a particular chapter, researching, or writing a page. That’s what professional writers do. They set aside time to write and then set a quota of so many pages written, researched, etc. You can do the same. The key is discipline. Once you start structuring your writing into your schedule, your book will start materializing. That will build the momentum you need to keep writing.

Embrace failure.

Let’s face it. We all want to succeed and be good at what we do. However, we don’t become the best at something without practice. If you were afraid of failure when you were little, you’d never have learned how to walk. It would have seemed entirely too difficult to be worth all that effort. Fortunately, you don’t have to be a child again to conquer your fear of failure. You do have to be willing to step outside your comfort zone.

So, as you approach the end of your book writing project, know that it will be hard, and you’ll most certainly mess up. Just be okay with failing and give yourself grace. That’s what will sustain you — the determination to continue, not your elusive standards of perfection.

Trust yourself. You can do this.

Take time to do what’s important to you and your book writing goals. I help my coaching clients finish their writing projects so they’ll feel confident, complete, smile a lot, and feel new business rushing to them.

Inspired? Committed? Curious?

To get the outcome you want, take one small action now with no cost to you.

Schedule a free 30-minute Book Writing Assessment Call with me. We’ll discuss what book building outcomes I deliver and see if we have chemistry for our partnership to finish on time and laugh a little.

Remember, don’t make “lack of time” an excuse for keeping that book of yours inside you. Take advantage of all the big benefits of having a book affords you and write one successfully.

Still not sure how to start? Send me a message at For more writing tips, visit my website. Join my Facebook Group and follow me on Instagram! Read more from Mary!

Mary Yamin-Garone, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine Mary Yamin-Garone is an award-winning writer, editor, and book/writing coach. In her 36 years, she has seen most every facet of the writing world as the featured guest writing expert on a weekly radio talk show, the recipient of numerous writing awards and accolades, and the coach and editor for several best-selling authors. One of her proudest moments came after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Mary received the Communication Concept 2002 APEX Award for Publication Excellence for Magazine and Newspaper Writing for her work after 9/11. She recently launched her signature coaching program, Bring Your Words to Life. Mary will help you improve your writing and turn your most important life experiences and knowledge into your best-selling book.



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