A common complaint from wannabe writers is “I don’t have time to write”or “I wish I had time to write”. They go on to talk at length about how busy their lives are.
Sound familiar? Are you/were you one of those people?
OK, time for me to climb on my soapbox for a change.
It’s easy to fall back on the “life is too busy” excuse but the truth is, if writing is important to you, you will make the time.
How do I know? Well, let me see… If you are a parent and your children are busy in sports, Scouts, Guides, Dance or a myriad of other activities, you know that your schedule adjusts to their activity. If you have extra work to do, you find the time to do it too.
Why would writing be any different?
We make time for those things that are a priority in our lives. If we have too many priorities, the ones that aren’t important are the ones we give up.
That’s pretty much standard for any people I know, myself included.
So back to the “I don’t have time to write”. If writing is important to you, you DO have time to write. It might be the time you normally watch your soap operas or it might be the time you spend going down to the pub for a couple beer. It might even be that extra half hour of sleep you allow yourself every day. Simply put, it’s the time taken by any activity that is of lower priority than your writing.
Personally, I’ve almost completely given up on television. There are lots of shows I’d like to be watching, but I haven’t bothered because I can’t afford the time it would take every week. The writing and podcasting simply need too much time of their own to allow for it. I’m alright with that because I know those shows will be available on DVD one day and I can watch them then.
Is writing my number one priority? Honestly, no. My family will always hold that position, but it is definitely a strong number two and I treat it that way. I make sure my writing projects are delivered when I say they will be. That leads to bigger projects because my writing improves and people know they can rely on me.
So, if you find that you don’t have time to write it is time to reassess your priorities. Is writing important enough to sacrifice something else? If it isn’t, that’s fine. Only you know what is important to you. But if that is your choice, you need to own up to it. Don’t say you don’t have time. Admit that there are too many more important things on the go right now to write. That changes it from an excuse to a reason.
Now, isn’t that easier to live with?
If, on the other hand, you decide it is important and you make the sacrifices but STILL don’t write. Well, that’s something you need to fix. Because the only way to become a better writer is to write. Period. Natural talent, if it exists, will only get you so far. Practice is the only way to make perfect.
Thank you for reading. End of soapbox session. Mike out.
My story “Apprentice” will be available very VERY soon in the premier issue of Flagship magazine, published by Flying Island Press. As you can probably tell, I’m pretty excited to see one of my stories in print. I will have the link posted for all to see when I get it.
I am making some good progress on my YA revisions. I’m about 20% done and happy with the results so far.
GalaxyBillies is coming along well. Thirteen episodes have been written and podcast and I’m almost done the fourteenth. That means the story is about 67% done and I’m still having fun.
I’m also working on the plans for a new project. This one promises to be a LOT of fun. I’m really looking forward to getting a couple of my current ones put to bed so I can really get writing on this one.
That’s it for me. I hope you all have a good week and great writing.
Tags: flying island press, irreverent muse, Michell Plested, priorities, short stories, time, writing