One of the first things a beginner writer does is create their writing space. While the physical environment is important, it’s beneficial to think about the psychological space first.
Writers need to understand how they write best in order to get the right space. Writing is generally an occupation that involves lots of time spent alone. If you’re an introvert, that probably suits you. If you’re an extrovert, it’s gonna be a struggle. The physical space you choose might be able to take this into account and help keep you at the page.
For example, I tend to have a short attention span – no getting into long periods of intense writing for me! While some people need silence to work, I need a low hum of noise. I have a desk to write at and a space all to myself free of interruptions, but I can’t keep still enough to write in it for long unless I’m on my way out the door in half an hour. One way in which I manage this need for action and people without the action/people pulling me away from the page is to choose an environment where there are things going on but not things that need my involvement.
For this reason, my writing space is spread all over town! Coffee shops are better for me than libraries (who can concentrate with all that silence around?), and I never write for a whole hour during my lunchtimes. If I’ve got 15 minutes while I’m waiting to leave for an event, I sit down at my desk and write a paragraph or two (often, this turns into a page). Lots of little grabs of time and an assurance that it’s only the first draft and no-one’s ever going to see it means that I can write about a page or two (longhand) in half an hour. Put all those grabs together and you get a book!
So if you’re thinking you can’t write because there’s not enough time, set yourself up in a way that makes the most of the time you do have. Even 15 minutes can yield a few words, but you might want to ensure you have a plan and some notes about where you’re going to make picking it up and getting into ‘The Zone’ easier. Every problem can be worked out, so give it a go.