Finding Time

imageThe 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.

12 Comments on Finding Time

  1. I stopped watching television all together. It’s amazing how much free time that created. Even when I’m goofing off I feel more productive than when I was just sitting in front of the TV being passively entertained.

  2. John Powderly | April 16, 2012 at 6:41 pm | Reply

    Haha, I recently gave up taking daily naps so I could finish my story for my senior project. It was only like 45 minutes a day, but I’ve already accomplished so much from just giving up naps.

  3. Cameron Rohskothen | April 16, 2012 at 8:01 pm | Reply

    This is my biggest issue with writing. The odd thing is that I love to write but somehow can’t make any time for it. It is very hard to write during the week as a student because I have work to do, but on the weekends I usually have an almost infinite amount of time that I fill up with world of warcraft and other nerdy indulgences. Sometimes I can push everything else aside and just write, but that is fairly uncommon. The other thing with writing is the time of the day that I pick to write; I thought that i was an afternoon writer, but now I know that I do all of my writing at night. For example, the last time I wrote I started at about 10:30 p.m, and the next time i looked at the clock, it was 3 a.m. I’ll find more time eventually.

  4. Darryl_Sanderson | April 16, 2012 at 9:29 pm | Reply

    This is probably the largest problem I have with writing. Typically on a school day I get home and relax…and that’s all I do. After school I feel too lazy to do anything, but that’s just me. On weekends I usually find the “time” to write and I do write for hours. But I do need to find motivation to continue writing

  5. I love to write!! even if its not the best i love it with a passion!! it helps me be me…but thru out high school i haven’t had much time to actually sit there pick up a pen and actual paper to get writing…and now that I”m looking for a job it became harder to make time for writing since now th spear time I have I’ll just be looking for more jobs to apply at. But im really trying to at least get 20 mins in for my writing that is very much needed for my soul!!!

  6. Time is the bane of a beginning writer’s existence. In my case, I want to make time, but I can’t. That’s what happens when you have a senior project looming over your head, a debate to research for, tests to review, chores to accomplish, colleges to check out, parents nagging to “get your head out of the clouds and be social” (this is the most common one) and just generally trying to stay sane.
    When I have time to actually breathe, I feel like writing is one of the few sanctuaries I have left. It’s because of that I take my work so bloody seriously, but a majority of the people who are currently in control of my life are convinced it’s just a phase.
    But I will gladly sacrifice sleep for writing! I do it all the time! I can go forever without sleep! I’m invincible…I’m….Zzzz….

  7. Alyssa Varney | April 23, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Reply

    Maybe if you find time in your schedule you will find many opportunities to write something very well. I find time in my schedule to read or even watch some television. You can accomplish something if you have time to work on that certain thing that you decided to do.

  8. Dustin Garza | April 30, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Reply

    before i moved to California i gave up hanging out with friends on sundays to focus on my poetry. Sometimes it takes giving up so little to do something big.

  9. alexandria heins | May 1, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Reply

    Oddly enough I am able to make time for writing but then, right when its getting good I have some emergency and have to help someone fix something, or someone needs a ride somewhere. Things go wrong when I try to make time to write. Its just better for me to write spontaneously with out a plan because less distractions present themselves.

  10. Brittany Walters | May 2, 2012 at 6:05 pm | Reply

    I have absolutely NO time to write. If I do have time I usually stare at the blank paper in front of me for hours trying to figure out what to write. I hit writers-block before I even begin to write! I either have no ideas or terrible ones. I need to find some inspiration that will lead to an AMAZING story. That never happens though. My stories are always lame or don’t make sense at all.

  11. Whitney Dunn | May 3, 2012 at 7:26 pm | Reply

    I always use the excuse that I don’t have time. I always make time to write love poems though. It’s a hobby and now that I have Jimmy It’s really easy to make time for them.

  12. Adrian hernandez | May 7, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Reply

    we may not always have all the time in the world but we do have time to make more time, I think that everyone should give something up for a while and see what would happen

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