Out of Time? Tips for Finding Time to Write


Are you like me?  At work for eight and a half hours every day, busing another three and sleeping eight if I’m lucky. Can’t forget to work out…and I haven’t even eaten or done the dishes yet.  That doesn’t leave much time in the day to keep to a social media posting schedule.  So how do the big writers do it?  I’m not talking about people paid to write like journalists, columnists or social media managers but people with a career besides writing.  I’m tired of running out of time so decided to find out exactly how those people do it and along the way realized a few things are actually working for me.

Although the list I’ve come up with are mostly novelists rather than social media writers we can learn lots from them as they are older writers who didn’t have the benefit of computers.  I can’t imagine writing without one now that I’ve had that luxury!

Hourglass picture by Vickie Girolami.

Tips for Finding Time to Write

  1. Get up early to write.
  2. Write on your breaks and lunch at work.
  3. Write in your spare time.
  4. Make it part of your lifestyle.
  5. Write while commuting or during wasted times.
  6. Weekends.

1. Get up early to write.

This tip just doesn’t work for me.  I’ve tried it so many times and just can’t commit to getting up before working out at 5 a.m. On the other hand, John Grisham, famous for his thrillers like The Firm, is now a full time writer who “started to write as a hobby, getting up at 5 a.m. to write for an hour every morning before work” as a lawyer.

Eating and working.

2. Write on your breaks and lunch at work.

This one doesn’t work for me either, just too many people around for me to focus but William Faulkner did it.  He wrote his book Sanctuary while he worked in the boiler room of a power plant. (Teeters, 1986, p. 2).

Eating and working picture by Vickie Castellani

3. Write in your spare time.

What is spare time anyway?  Harper Lee knew. She’s famous for the book, To Kill a Mockingbird, and wrote it in her spare time while working for a few airlines as a ticket agent.

4. Make it part of your lifestyle.

All my life I’ve been disciplined for everything but writing because all those other things are part of my lifestyle like brushing my teeth.  After work I have a couple of hours every day while my husband works overtime.  For now that time is for working on my courses but when they’re over…

Commuting by public transport picture by Vickie Girolami

5. Write while commuting or during wasted times.

Are there times you’re left sitting around or waiting on a regular basis? My big time waster is commuting, taking up around three hours a day.  But now that time is productive, spent writing, researching and taking notes on my phone’s email so I can pick up anywhere anytime and the bonus is I don’t mind my commute as much.

6. Weekends

Not sure when you get all your chores done but for me, bonus writing time is on the weekend when I’m not doing laundry, housecleaning and whooping it up – you have to live a little. 

Have you got a “system” to get your writing quota in? How are you going to do it?  Let me know your comments or what works for you, I welcome all the help I can get.


Teeters, Peggy. (1986).  How to get started in writing.

            Writer’s Digest Books.


Does life get in the way for finding time to stick to your social media timetable? Are you stuck with finding time to write?  If you’re looking for some tips on what’s worked for some famous novelists who had full time jobs and what works for me see my blog, Out of Time? Tips for Finding Time to Write. https://bit.ly/3p0XH1T


#outoftime #schedule #planner, Are you stuck with finding time to write? See my blog, Out of Time? Tips for Finding Time to Write on what works for me as well as some famous novelists who worked a full time job to support their writing. @middleagedteen https://bit.ly/3p0XH1T

Have YOU got what it takes to be an Influencer?

With social media communities anyone or “thing” can draw a crowd.  In 10 of the Weirdest Social Networks you see the diversity of what brings people together:  hamsters, farmers, a lifeline to heaven, mustaches, and even microbes – this one you have to submit a personal specimen for their study to get in.

Influencers are the ones who draw in the big crowds. What is an Influencer? – Social Media Influencers Defined [Updated 2022] defines an influencer as having the following:

  • the power to affect the purchasing decisions of others because of his or her authority, knowledge, position, or relationship with his or her audience.
  • a following in a distinct niche, with whom he or she actively engages. The size of the following depends on the size of his/her topic of the niche.

The key in the above definition is “his or her” and “he or she”, it’s all about that person.  There was a time when celebrities were the only influencers. Now anyone can do it as seen the below picture influencers for travel, skateboarding, parenting, video games and lifestyle.

Picture from What Does It Take to Become an Influencer?  Showing influencers, their platforms, niche, audience breakdown and location.

What does it take to become an influencer? Below are steps explained in detail in the Indeed article, How To Become An Influencer in 10 Steps:

  1. Find your niche.
  2. Choose your social media platforms.
  3. Develop your content strategy.
  4. Build and maintain a website.
  5. Be consistent.
  6. Have an opinion.
  7. Engage with your audience.
  8. Grow your network.
  9. Evaluate and track your progress.
  10. Stay up to date on trends.

Mostly, we hear about the “mega” influencers but there are many tiers and each is defined by the number of followers they have, also explained in the article How to Become an Influencer in 10 Steps:

  • “Nano-influencers: 1,000-10,000 followers
  • Micro-influencers: 10,000-50,000 followers
  • Mid-tier influencers: 50,000-500,000 followers
  • Macro-influencers: 500,000-1,000,000 followers
  • Mega influencers (often celebrities): Over 1,000,000 followers”

In case you’re curious as to what it takes to make the big bucks see the below chart on what it takes to make $100,000 found in the article, Here’s how many social media followers you need to make $100,000.

PlatformFollowers/Subscribers NeededViews /Posts
YouTube1,00024 million views annually
Instagram5,000308 sponsored posts
TikTok10,000270 million views annually
Chart made by Vickie Girolami, data from the article Here’s how many social media followers you need to make $100,000.

Can anyone become an influencer?  Definitely, but have you got what it takes?  When I worked as a Personal Trainer I use to tell people if they had a goal of working out three to four times a week book in every day because life gets in the way and the extra booked in days will keep you on track.  I see becoming an influencer the same way.  Discipline, perseverance, follow the 10 steps and you may just make it.

Do you have a specialty that appeals to the masses?  Are you driven enough to make it happen?  Have you already done it?  I’m looking forward to hearing from you. Please share your comments below.

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“Have YOU got what it takes to be an Influencer?”  See that blog if you’re interested in finding out more about influencers, what an influencer is, steps to become one and how much money you can make.

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#influencerlife #entrepreneur #influencermarketing, “Have YOU got what it takes to be an Influencer?” What is an influencer anyway?  Steps to become one and how much money you can make.  See my blog for all this and more. @middleagedteen

Social Media – the Teenager

In the 1970’s writing rules were hammered into us but when social media arrived it changed everything. It’s the teenager in the writing family – a trendsetter and rebel upsetting the balance in everything, not just communication. 

The first known communications are 30,000 year old paintings found in Southern France caves.  Modern “writing” evolved with the Sumerian hunter-gatherers about 30,000 years later using cuneiforms followed by Egyptian hieroglyphics, Chinese hanzi and the Greek alphabet (Psychology Today article, The Evolution of the Written Word).

Sumerian text 4,000 years ago
Egyptian hieroglyphs 4,000 years ago
Chinese engraving 3,300 years ago

Pictures left to right, top to bottom: France cave painting 30,000 years ago, Sumerian text 4,000 years ago, Egyptian hieroglyphs 4,000 years ago, Chinese engraving 3,300 years ago (Roberts, 2002, pages 45, 72-73).

Trendsetter and Rebel

As a trendsetter social media is the exciting hip new kid on the block.  It incorporates lots of gadgets like cell phones, headphones and microphones; there’s a different language using acronyms and short forms; and you can communicate on platforms like Facebook, YouTube and Instagram with pictures, messages, videos, podcasts, blogs and vlogs. 

Social media is a rebellious rule breaker. In the early to mid 2000’s, like the youth, I embraced using acronyms and short forms for texting.  This created an uproar that children weren’t going to be able to spell or write properly.  Even my own children criticized me for it. Not only is this now normal, but it’s totally expected in certain platforms like Twitter. 

But social media is a revolution that needs to be kept in check.  Postings of child pornography, bullying and racism are being addressed by the Government of Canada.  They have proposed legislation amending both offline and online content related to the Criminal Code, the Canadian Human Rights Act, and the Youth Criminal Justice as seen in the document Government of Canada takes action to protect Canadians against hate speech and hate crimes.

As teenagers rebel at limitations while exploring how to do things “their way”, social media is no different.  In a few hundred years we’ve gone from the general store and specialists like the tailor, cobbler and apothecary to online shopping where you assess products based on reviews rather than the in-store expert.  The Covid pandemic gave social media an unfair boost forcing the globe to either embrace it or be left behind. This created a backlash of business and job loss but for those who did embraced it, many jobs and businesses have flourished with online stores.

Social Media Won the Popularity Contest! 

Teenagers are known for their need to connect with each other but we all need that too.  The Covid pandemic deprived us from in-person interactions and social media saved the day allowing us to connect.  We hear about mental health problems the pandemic has caused but I wonder how much worse it would be without social media.  Anyone can use it and social media is here to stay, so you may as well jump in with the attitude of a teenager – get curious, social and join in.

How do you see social media?  What changes do you see coming?  Let me know your comments.




Roberts, J.M. (2002) Ancient history: From the first civilizations to the renaissance. Duncan Baird Publishers           

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Social media is like a teenager – trendsetter and rebel reshaping everything it encounters.  Read more about this in my blog “Social Media – the Teenager”.

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#socialmediahistory #moderncommunication #SurvivingCovid, Social media, the trendsetter and rebel of the writing family. For more on this see my blog, “Social Media – the Teenager”. @middleagedteen

With Social Media You can be a Journalist…

W5 and How

...Here’s some Proof!

Natural Covid antibodies are being recognized in unvaccinated people for 90 days if they got Covid after December 20, 2021.  Those people are now seen as “fully vaccinated household members”.  This information is found in the document COVID-19 Integrated Testing & Case, Contact and Outbreak Management Interim Guidance: Omicron Surge published by the Ontario Ministry of Health on January 13, 2022.

How I Found It

Everyday at work I sift through a bunch of websites for Joint Health and Safety to keep my workplace conforming to the mandated Covid updates. Recognizing “natural antibodies” for Covid is big news for anti-vaxxers; anyone holding out on the vaccine; and the legal implications of unvaccinated staff, especially in vaccine mandated workplaces. Delving into why we aren’t hearing about this isn’t the point of this blog – my point is with social media anyone can report the news. We all have our niches and social media provides many opportunities to educate “the world”, whether the news is timely or not.

Life Before Digitalization

Until the digitalization of news, breakfast, coffee and the morning newspaper was how many people started their day.  After dinner if you wanted more news you could see it at 6 or 11 pm and the radio was the only way to get news updates throughout the day.

And then there was Social Media

Newspapers, television and radio still serve a purpose but they’ve had to adapt to keep up in our digital world. There’s a lot of information out there and mainstream news doesn’t cover it all.  They often share the same stories because various news platforms are owned by the same company or they have specific mandates on what news to feed the public…something that turned me off journalism in college.  What this means is you have an opportunity to share missed news on your own social media.  If you’ve got something appealing to a lot of people it may even go viral. 

If this is something you’re interested in check-out an article offering 12 tips for Writing News Online. If you’re really ambitious see the tips, 4 Strategies for Making Your Content Go Viral.

Have you come across some interesting information that hasn’t hit the news or gone public yet?  Or have you already had success sharing your news story on social media?  I’d love to hear about it or any comments you have about this blog.

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With Social Media You can be a Journalist…

Anyone can be a journalist on social media.  Want proof?  Did you know that Covid unvaccinated people are being recognized as “fully vaccinated household members”?  Canada actually recognizes natural antibodies?  Covid discussion is not my point…the point is I found some information while working that hasn’t hit the news yet.  If you’ve got something you want to share, whether it’s timely or not, check out my blog “With Social Media You can be a Journalist…”

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#youcandoit #reporterlife #covid Check out my blog, “With Social Media You can be a Journalist…” and  see how I prove it with a piece of news that’s just waiting to be discovered about natural Covid antibodies, @middleagedteen