May 06, 2020

WRITING IN THE CRACKS OF TIME by Bob Jones


Are you struggling to find time to write? There may be more time than you know what to do with in the time that falls between the cracks.

Here are five strategic ways to find 72 minutes a day, everyday, for writing.

1. The last twelve minutes before you go to bed must be seeded. Those 720 seconds are prime time to prepare for your next day’s writing. Ready your writing space for the next morning. Tablet. Pen. Computer. Chair. No clutter. Spend the other ten minutes thinking about one thing you want to write about in the morning. The subconscious mind is a ready writer. Your last prevailing thought will simmer during the night. You can get a peaceful sleep and a jumpstart on your day.

2. The first 30 minutes when you awaken must be guarded. I find cracks of time at the crack of dawn. My cell phone is silenced. No one else is awake. The house is still. Being a morning person doesn’t hurt. I can count on one hand the number of mornings I’ve missed the dawn in 2020 without needing a wake-up call. Not a morning person? Set your alarm. A hot café mocha and I’m ready to go. The first 30 minutes of my day are the most productive. They must be guarded. No email. No social media. Focus.

3. Take care of business by working over time. Some time between after dinnertime and before bedtime, carve out 30 minutes of my time. Excuse yourself and go to your writing place. Hang the “Do Not Disturb” sign on the doorknob. Writing is nobody’s business but yours. Get down to business. Thirty minutes becomes sixty and then ninety and before you know it, you’re banked 350 minutes of writing after one week. Over time you will be surprised how much writing you get done.

4. Choose the time that is most convenient for everyone else in your life. This is your sacrifice of love. Married to a morning person? Write later at night so you can be with the one you love in the morning. Got kids? Write before they get up or after they go to bed. You are required to do shift work, work weekends or work more than one job? Write in the cracks of work. You may feel these choices leave you writing in weakness, but weakness is God’s favourite place to show his strength. When you make sacrifices out of love, don’t be surprised how God makes time out of your sacrifices. 

5. Never leave home without a way to redeem the time. Every week you have one or more moments of unexpected wait time. Waiting at an appointment. Waiting for a meeting to begin. Waiting because of a cancellation. Don’t fight it. Write in it. Prepare your mind to seize the opportunity in adversity.

Cracks let the light in. Are you ready?

Please take time and leave a comment below. Thank you.

9 comments:

  1. These are so practical and doable, Bob. I used to think I needed these large chunks of time, so I only wrote during spring break or summer holidays (with the odd weekend thrown in) for many years during my teaching career. No wonder it took me 16 years to write my first book! Then I discovered what you've said. I can write in smaller chunks and it still works. I love the line, "weakness is God’s favourite place to show his strength." Amen to that!

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  2. Thank you Tracey for sharing this on the FB page and for always being encouraging. You are a wonderful leader. Good health to you.

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  3. Thank you for these super practical and helpful strategies, Bob. I have a bit of a health challenge right now including a struggle to concentrate on my writing. Your ideas are going to be helpful for me as I try to stay on track. Bless you, my friend for this.

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    1. Thank you Alan. All the best to you health wise and writing wise.

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  4. Practical and great tips on how to use those cracks of time. Thank you Bob!

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  5. Dear Pastor Bob, hoping you don’t mind, I have printed off this blog of yours and put it in a plastic sleeve for much-needed and prayerful consideration. Realizing my circumstances aren’t the same as yours, I must refigure what are the best cracks in my day for writing. In some ways, caregiving is a 24-hour labour of love, but I must take care of myself by maximizing the cracks in the day that I need for my own growth and development, spiritually, mentally, physically, etc. For me, writing is a big part of that program. Thank you.

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    1. We are still on for that coffee sometime in Barrhead. Meeting between the cracks.

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  6. Thanks for your practical strategies, Bob. While I generally follow's a daily practice, I'll take your suggestion to "seed" more the evening before.

    I love your photos, too! Letting in light is so apt.

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