The most popular excuse people give for not writing is lack of time.
“I wish I had time to Write.”;
“I’m totally flooded with tasks — I can’t find time to write” and
“I seriously want to write, but I am overwhelmed that I can’t.”
These are the popular excuses (or if you’d rather call them complaints) — chances are you’ve given/taken them too.
Truth is: finding writing time when you’re already occupied with other things is a daunting challenge.
Yes, finding time to Write is easily one of the most herculean tasks aspiring writers struggle with.
Well, I’m here to shatter this challenge.
You aren’t going to find time to Write!
Here’s what I mean:
You never find time to write — you make time to write. It’s simply a matter of changing how you look at it.
Look, everyday you have 86,400 seconds totally at your disposal. What you do with them is your Sacrosanct decision.
You can choose to spend the whole day in bed sleeping or watching TV or doing any other thing.
But keeping repercussions aside, you are responsible for all you do, every single day.
Now, just as you can decide to sleep or eat or do any other thing at certain times of the day, you can also decide to write.
Writing is an option, you can choose to write.
This is the part where a lot of writers have problems.
They see writing as one more chore they must find a way of tucking into their already overwhelmed task list.
They forget that they write at their own discretion — That writing is a choice.
That they can and should make time to write.
They should create writing time.
Creating Writing Time
I first heard about making the time to write from a friend and mentor — Marcy McKay.
It was the January of 2015, I’d just gotten admitted to the university, I’ve got a heavily demanding part time job and I was getting drained on all fronts that I was missing out on my writing deadlines.
Two weeks passed and I’d not written anything new. I was just busy posting previously written content on my blog. But that trick only got me so far. I knew I would need to write new pieces if I would keep my blog active.
So I ran to her and laid my complaint.
“You’re a full time mum, have a part time job and have an aged in law to take care of, yet, you still write your blog and have just submitted the final draft of your novel to your publisher. How do you get to find the time to write when I though having far lesser schedule than you fall short?” I asked her.
Her reply was iconic:
“Amos, you don’t find time to write. You never do. You only make time to write.”
This reply totally revolutionised my thinking about writing and essentially everything.
Indeed, you can do anything — you just need to be decisive enough to commit your resources (time inclusive) to it.
And essentially this is all what making the time to write is all about.
The difference between finding the time to write and making the time is all about how you perceive it.
The questions now are: how important is writing to you? And, are you willing to make it a priority and allot part of your time to it?
Although making the time to write sounds technical and hard, it isn’t that hard.
Below are four steps to doing that:
1. Own your Time:
you have 24 full hours every day. How much of that time can you confidently claim to be in charge of? Most people just live their lives with no conscious planning. Resigning to fate. If you are going to achieve anything worthwhile you must decide how you spend your resources (most especially time). Take charge of your day!
2. Decide to Write:
just as you can decide to eat, or sleep or do anything else during your day, you can decide to write. The next step in making the time to write is taking the decision to write. Sounds simple but it’s vital. after taking ownership of your time, next you need to make the deliberate decision of writing. By making a conscious choice to spend your time writing, you are making writing a priority and that’s the first step in really getting any writing done.
3. Allot writing time:
after deciding that writing is important to you, even making it a priority task. The next step is to allocate time for it. Remember, the 24 full hours you own daily? Choose when you want to write and really do. This is essentially the same old-fashioned scheduling I’ve been preaching for long. Give writing a time slot in your day and stick to it. As a rule of thumb, never wait till you have finished scheduling your day before squeezing writing in and don’t budge for distractions that may come along the way.
4. Respect your writing time:
lastly, your decision to write is sacred. Don’t yield to any distraction — respect your writing time. It’s not enough to allot time for writing in your daily life if you are not going to stick to it. Take charge of your environment and you’d surely have a great writing time. This is essentially what the writing craft entails.
Lack of writing time can be a derailing factor in a writers life. Choosing writing is the best way to making the time to write as against finding it.
Want to successfully write daily? Learn to incorporate this central message into your writing life and you’d surely succeed as this is what the writing craft actually require.
Question: How are you going to make time to write from this day forward? Share your decision by leaving a comment below.
Also published on Medium.