How do you find time to write?
Every author is different, so I can only speak for myself. For me, writing falls into two main categories.

Blogging. I’m often asked how I can blog almost every day. Well, it takes time, but maybe not as much time as people think. I almost never post something on Sunday. If I post in Saturday it is usually a brief quote. Fewer people read blogs on the weekends anyways. Monday is usually a video clip. That leaves, most weeks, four days of writing. I try to make sure at least two days are good, original pieces. On the other days, I might post something I’ve written elsewhere or comment briefly on an item I read somewhere else. Or, heaven forbid, I might just not post at all.

More and more I do most of my blogging on one or two days. On Tuesday I like to get things lined up for the rest of the week. Then on Friday or Saturday I put posts in the queue for Monday and Tuesday. I admit I often blog on my day off, Monday, but this is a habit I am trying to break.  All in all, the time spent on a week of blogging varies widely, depending on how long and involved my new writing is. A week of blogging, on average, takes 3-5 hours. If I am asked to write an article, I like to make sure that whatever I write can double-dip as a blog entry at some point.

I’m not sure where I get the time. Sometimes I work on a piece after the kids are in bed (if my wife doesn’t mind). Mostly though I crank something out first thing in the morning when I get to work. And believe it or not, I like writing enough and it feels different enough that I will take a 20-30 minute break during sermon prep to write for my blog. Writing can be like intellectual cross-training, a different exercise when another part of the brain gets tired.

Books. I can do editing work on a book with little snatches of time here or there, but serious writing takes extended time away. A couple years ago my graciously graciously allowed for a four week study leave each year. Since our church follows the rhythms of the university it works well for me to be gone for a month in the summer. In July, my family and I will travel to Colorado to spend time with my wife’s parents. I go the library during the day while my wife and kids get to enjoy vacation with family. It’s a great arrangement.

Is four weeks enough time to write a book? That depends. How fast do you write? How long is the book? Are you writing from scratch or converting sermons to print? Two of my books have been co-authored and Just Do Something was short. But without this time away I would not be able to write much of anything.

On a related note, I’m often asked how I manage my time. Good question. I don’t always. I said yes to too many speaking requests last year and said yes to too many writing requests this year. I’m learning. A small group of elders now oversees my speaking requests and tries to make sure I am keeping my priorities straight. This has been a big help, as has the addition of an administrative assistant.

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Comments:


9 thoughts on “On Writing, Part 2”

  1. Hello Kevin, Thank for this Post too, Please continue in your God given Task as Author, I am amount those who learn from you.
    Thank for the article.
    be Bless

  2. Rob Lombardi says:

    It’s interesting you differentiate blog writing with serious writing . I would add that the content of both should have significance; albeit with diversions to Monday morning humor and such. ;) I’ve been thinking about doing some “significant” writing on a blog. The blogs I’ve been planning are called “Today’s Reformer and “Holy Aware”. They have different focuses. One’s more for reforming our lives and church and defining the identity of “today’s reformer” and the other is for building an awareness and discernment that is illuminated by the holiness of God. Sometimes I wonder if short blog articles are more effective for reaching larger communities or are the serious books more effective. So many people these days seem to latch onto the short snippets of information and less people seem to be interested in committing themselves to reading an entire book. But they are certainly more likely to read it if you hand them a book you wrote, that is full of information you find significant to communicate to them.

  3. Rob Clark says:

    Kevin,

    What is your reading schedule? Do you read for 8 hours a day? Give us a snapshot of what your typical day looks like for reading. I have heard that readers are leaders and obviously writers are readers.

    Thanks

  4. Nathan says:

    I enjoyed this post – and the follow up.

    I don’t think I’ve come out of the woodwork before – but I’m enjoying the fruits of your labour.

  5. Rob Lombardi says:

    Hey Nathan, noticed you are a coffee fan on your website. I’m over hear in San Jose, drinking Barefoot Coffee on a La Marzocco GS3 and of course, sharing with my beloved friends and neighbors. :)

  6. Ciera says:

    I’m glad you find the time to blog, because I enjoy your posts very much :) Keep ‘em up!

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Kevin DeYoung


Kevin DeYoung is senior pastor of University Reformed Church (RCA) in East Lansing, Michigan, near Michigan State University. He and his wife Trisha have six young children. You can follow him on Twitter.

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