MAKING TIME TO WRITE
We’ve all been there at one time or another. Many of us have asked the same question: how do I find time to write? Jobs, children, home demands, and so many other things can impact on our time. Sometime it’s also the fear of failure. That fear, even unconsciously, fuels the excuses we come up with.
Ask yourself if you really do want to be a writer. If you have stories to tell and ones you can’t stop writing even in your head, or if you feel like you have to get them on paper like a hunger you can’t feed, then I guess your answer is yes. In that case, you somehow must find time.
There are plenty of sites you can Google that will offer suggestions. Here are a few ideas:
- Pick and choose time. Maybe it needs to be 30 minutes before everyone gets up in the morning or 30 minutes after everyone goes to bed. It might be Saturdays that work best or a Friday night. More than likely you will have to give up something else to find the time.
- Less TV. Turn off Facebook. Shut off video games. Turn off the cell phone. When you pick a time to write, that’s your time and there should be no interference that take away from your time.
- Get family support. Years ago my children gave me a sign to put on my door: “GO AWAY! LEAVE ME ALONE! P.S. I LOVE YOU!” They knew I loved them but when I was writing, it was mommy time. My husband, on the other hand, needed a little more “training.” He couldn’t just come into the room and announce something. He couldn’t come in and just start talking to me. I asked him to knock, wait, and soon, he came to respect my time.
- Compromise. I was known for getting into the “writing zone” and staying there for hours. Not good for my back and not great for my relationships. I decided to view writing like work (except it was the best job I ever had and I looked forward to it). I would work for two hours and stop. I might come back to it later after I spent time doing chores (like cleaning and laundry) and spending time with my family (which was not a chore), but the idea was make time to write and make time to do other things that would help my writing.
- Carry a notebook or recorder. Sometimes I would get ideas on the beach, in my car, standing in line, or at the dog park. Write them down quickly, but write them so you can come back to it later.
- Pick a space. Find a place that you can write. A place you can spread out. A spot where you are comfortable and can work with little distraction.
So how do you find free time? First, be honest. If you really want to write, you will find the time. If you come up with excuses, ask yourself why. Is it fear? Do you spend too much time on “what if?” What if what I write isn’t any good? What if it doesn’t get published? Try not to waste time on those questions. Imagination is like a muscle that must be exercised. Writing is both a talent and skill that must be practiced. Find others like you that can give good feedback. Join a writers’ group. Become part of a chapter and attend those meetings like you would if it was your job. Don’t go to them just because you want others to read your work, but see the value in reading others work too. You can learn so much from that and, you will also have to find time to write something to present.
Just remember, you can find time to write if you’re inspired. Make the time. With a smile and a hug, commit to it, and tell others, “Go away. Leave me alone. P.S. I love you.”
Follow the South Carolina Writers’ Workshop to learn more about conferences and contests as well as other writing resources.