How to know how long your writing will take when it feels like it will take forever

In the still, tender moments between “lights out” and dreamland provide space for questions to rise up and out of my five-year-old daughter Maggie like “How does an owl know how to build a nest?”

“Well, they probably find a twig and check to see if it works or fits. Maybe it fits, maybe it doesn’t so they look for another twig and then try that one. With each nest they build they start to see what works and what doesn’t and so then have a better idea of which twigs work where.” I replied. 

As this response flowed through me, I realized that this simple process is how we are all learning to create something for ourselves. Whether it’s changing our relationship with writing, time or others, it is through this simple act of picking something and trying it out to see what works that creates growth from experience.

I see this process in action for my clients as their relationship with time and writing begins to change.

An uncertainty that often comes up for many of my clients is: “I am not sure how long it’s going to take me to write this section” or maybe they are asking “How do I know how much time it’s going to take me to write this?”

Having these thoughts and questions can create overwhelm or doubt, depending on how you respond (“This is going to take forever. How am I ever going to get this done?”), which lead to avoidance, procrastination or feeling stuck. It also allows us to get in our own ways.  

Alternatively, we can pro-actively create understanding and experience for ourselves. If you are wondering how long it will take you to write something start by creating a block of time and set out to complete the next task of writing. By consciously creating time for writing, then experiencing how long it actually takes, gives you an idea of how long it actually takes you. Super simple but very effective and most of us do not put this into action. This also supports your commitment to yourself to complete a writing task because you have a better idea of what you can accomplish in a given container of time and you will become more effective at committing to and following through on it.  In this way, we can begin to create and understand time so that we may begin to honour it with what we want to create with more ease.

After coming to this realization as a result of Maggie’s question I shared with her, “Thank you kiddo. You are teaching me what I need to know.” Wisdom is everywhere when we are listening, isn’t it? 

If you have trouble managing your time or creating time for your writing to effectively start, maintain momentum or complete your writing projects, I invite you to email me at for a complimentary Discovery Call where I can learn more about what’s happening for you and whether the work I do may be supportive to you.


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