When it comes to the question of how to make time to write and blog I’ve realized I’ve been too easy on you.

Until now, I’ve simply challenged you to write every day, even if it’s just one page or even just one line. And I still think that’s a fine way to start your writing or blogging journey. But eventually the time comes when we have to put our big girl panties on and do more.

That time is now.

So, now I’m about to give you some much needed tough love on this matter of how to make time to write and blog.

You can blame Rachel Hollis. This month I’ve been reading her new book Girl, Stop Apologizing: A Shame-Free Plan for Embracing and Achieving Your Goals. She begins her book with a section that’s all about ditching the excuses we give ourselves for why we’re not pursuing our dreams. One of the excuses she tackles is the very reason so many of the women who read my blog say they aren’t going after their goals: I Don’t Have Time.

But here’s the thing: You do have time. You have time to do whatever you want to do if you’re willing to make that thing your priority. Now don’t misunderstand this as a charge to run out and try to do #allthethings. I’m trying to push you, but not push you over the edge. And I’m a firm believer in the saying, “You can do it all but not all at once.” But I believe if we pick just one goal and go all in we can and will find the time to achieve it.

In Girl, Stop Apologizing, Rachel Hollis challenges her readers to pick one goal and devote at least five hours each week toward working on that goal — five hours! She calls it “Five to Strive.” So, I want to walk you through how to do this, or at least how I’ve devoted more than five hours a week to my writing, blogging, and business goals for the past eight years of building See Jane Write. I want to show you how you can finally make time to write and blog.

(To be clear, if you are experiencing a major life change right now such as a new baby or a health or family crisis, please DO NOT feel pressured to do more. Save this challenge for a later time.) 

Dare to Dream

First, you need to choose a goal. To pick that goal I would recommend spending some time crafting a vision for your writing life. Try creating your future writing bio, the bio that you would want someone to read — let’s say five years from now — before you take the stage to speak at your favorite conference.

Here’s a future writing bio I wrote last year:

Javacia Harris Bowser is a writer, blogger, educator, and entrepreneur who specializes in empowering women and girls to become the authors of their own lives through artistic pursuits, content creation, and entrepreneurship. She is the founder of See Jane Write, an award-winning website and community for women who write and blog. A self-proclaimed feminist storyteller, Javacia’s articles and essays have appeared in Glamour, Essence, Bust, Darling, Good Grit, and other national magazines. Javacia is the author of three books and the host of the podcast The Writeous Babe Show. She also runs a feminist storytelling camp for teen girls. Javacia lives in Birmingham, Alabama with her husband Edward.

The bio you write should give you a clear picture of what you want and where you’re going.

Next, you have to figure out how you’re going to get there.

Be a Goal Digger

With your future writing bio in hand, make a list of all the things you’ll have to accomplish to make that bio a reality. For example, I’ll have to write and publish three books, start a podcast and a summer camp, and successfully pitch story ideas to Glamour, Essence, Darling, and other national magazines (I’ve already started writing for Good Grit. Check!)

Obviously I can’t work on ALL of those goals at once. Well, I guess I can but then I won’t have time to eat, sleep, shower, or see my husband. So I’ll need to pick just one.

You also need to take your list of goals and choose one. If you’re having trouble choosing, consider which goal, when accomplished, will make the others on your list easier to achieve.

How The Sunday Slay Can Help You Make Time to Write and Blog

Just as I do, Rachel Hollis shares in her book that she and her husband plan their upcoming week on the weekend.

If you’ve been rocking with me for a while you know that I call my weekly planning sessions The Sunday Slay. Every Sunday evening I spend an entire hour planning out my week. First, I write out all I have to do and want to do in all areas life for the upcoming week. Next, I break out my Day Designer* and assign each task to a day of the week. Thirdly, I schedule when I will do each of Monday’s tasks using the daily planning pages of the Day Designer. Monday night I will schedule when I will do each of Tuesday’s tasks and so on.

Related Reading: How I Plan My Week

When you’re planning out your week you need to schedule the five hours you’re going to work on the goal that you chose. Spread out these five hours however you need. This could be 30 minutes before work and 30 minutes after work each weekday or one hour on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday and two hours over the weekend. Just do whatever works best with your schedule and energy level. For example, I know I do my best work early in the morning so I try to schedule most of my writing then.

The Sunday Slay is such an empowering activity. I begin each Monday feeling in control of my week and excited to work on my goals. I begin each week knowing I can and will make time to write and blog.

April 8-28 I’ll be hosting a 21-day challenge I’m calling The Write Start. It’s designed to help women like you uncover the confidence, commitment, and creativity you need to develop a daily writing practice and get serious about writing, blogging and building a platform. This challenge would be a perfect time for you to test out “Five to Strive.” Can you devote five hours a week to reading the lessons and working on the writing prompts I’ll be sending you each day of the challenge? If so, be sure to sign up here.

Let’s do this! No more excuses! You do have the time!