The age-old excuse (as accurate as it may be): I just don’t have time to (fill in the blank). For me, it’s exercising. For you, if you’re like so many other aspiring writers, it’s writing. Fact is, no one really has time for anything extra in their schedules. We Americans like to keep our schedules as full as possible. And, unless Jesus decides to add a few hours to each day, we’ll never “find” time for anything.
So what’s the answer? Make time. Simple as that.
Okay, simple to say, not simple to do. In order to MAKE time, it requires sacrificing something else that’s taking up time in your schedule. Maybe it’s television viewing (gasp! He can’t seriously be suggesting I turn off the television for an hour a day!). Or maybe it’s cutting back on the video games. Or less time on some other hobby. For me, unwilling to sacrifice time with my family, I wake early each morning to ensure I’ve got an hour of uninterrupted writing time each weekday. On summer’s, I’ll often stay up late (after my kids go to bed) and write for a few hours.
What about you? What’s taking up time in your schedule? Is there anything you can give up? I once gave up music to focus on my writing. I had to prioritize. Or maybe, if you’re unwilling to part with anything that eats up the minutes of your day, perhaps you can simply cut back a bit. Maybe you take ten minutes out of six different commitments and roll that into a chunk of writing time.
But here’s the thing: It’s not enough to make writing time for one week. It’s a commitment. Has to be, if you want to be one of the greats. Somehow, I have a hard time visualizing Stephen King blowing off his normal writing time to go see a mid-afternoon movie with friends. Learn to say, “I’d love to, but I’m busy for the next hour. Let’s go a bit later, okay?”
And it should be okay. Once your family and friends see that you’re serious about your writing, they’ll take it seriously, too. If you don’t take it seriously, and treat it as a hobby that you like to do “when you have time,” don’t plan on finishing much of anything. If that sounds harsh, I apologize. But it doesn’t change the fact—if you treat your writing so flippantly, expect others to do the same.
If you’re not already serious about your writing, make sure you get there, no matter how hard it may seem now.