Ah, yes, that! Time to write. Whenever writers gather, this is a frequent concern/lament/topic of discussion. One says he can’t find the time to write. Another says she doesn’t feel like writing when she gets home from work (especially if it involves a computer). Still another says, — . Well, you get the picture.
But, to complete that picture, look at what invariably happens as soon as someone offers suggestions. A chorus of “Yah, but”s begins. “Yah, but I have no separate writing space.” “Yah, but, I could never do that because — .” “Yah, but I tried that once and — .” Etc.
What if it’s not about having or finding the time but about prioritizing the writing? We all fritter time away, don’t we? A tad too much tv. A last minute rush in the morning because we arose late. A host of avoidance behaviors disguised as housecleaning, or keeping up with the news of the day, or seeing to everyone else’s needs. Etc. And if writing time isn’t included at or near the top of the to-do list, it just doesn’t show up on the radar screen of a busy life.
How important is your writing to you? If it’s a little something that gives you pleasure from time to time, do it when you have a moment. If it’s an integral part of who you are, … if it’s the thing you would do if you had all the time in the world handed to you, … if you can’t not do it …, then make it a priority in your life. Which is the same as putting yourself first in your life. What a concept.
Suggestions ahead, so sit on your “Yah, but”s:
- say out loud, “I am a writer. Therefore, I write.”
- adopt the mantra: seat of the pants to the seat of the chair
- create a writing space — it doesn’t have to be a room or actual place — it can be intangible and, thus, portable (food for thought, dear writer)
- set out your do-not-disturb boundaries and tell your loved ones (no exceptions)
- start with small increments such as committing to a line a day
- remember that a habit is well established in 21 days
- create a writing ritual as simple as taking a deep breath, lighting a candle, putting on the same piece of music, etc. (exploring this might be your first piece of writing in this space)
- get it down, don’t wait for it to be good — re-writing comes later
- ask yourself of each thing that comes between you and your writing, “Does it fill me up or drain me?” If it drains you, just say, “No.”
Time to write …