Welcome back to another week of asking you an interesting question and getting even better answers in return. This week was really just a question that piqued my interest about all of you and a huge comment I see about creatives:
“I don’t have time to read.”
“I don’t have time to write.”
Yes, that comment of those who either don’t read and use this phrase as the reason why, and same for the writing. I get it, as someone who is a full time college student, owns a business, and works as an editor, time feels not on our side sometimes.
And that is exactly why I wanted to ask this question, to prove we all go through this. I fall off the track of writing every morning, see some YouTube videos of vague publishing tweets and get agitated that I stopped writing, and then push on time again. It is a vicious yet luxurious cycle of a writer’s life.
The main idea is that it is not easy.
Finding time to write is hard with any lifestyle, whether you live alone, with family or friends, are single or in a relationship, are unemployed or employed. The anticipation of writing, the anxious, jittery feeling towards adding to a story or starting a new one.
Sacrificing the time to write is essential in some cases.
Like the advice Neil Gaiman has given, block out a time to write or do nothing. No distractions or other plans. Sit to write and if nothing flows on the page, just sit there and do nothing. Soon enough, nothing will get boring and you will find yourself writing.
Of course, this may take time. But that circles back to sacrificing one thing for another.
Example, instead of watching an episode of a Netflix show every night of the week, take three nights to watch the show and the other ones to match that time spent on the show to write instead.
A lot of people were open to say it is hard to find time. Because it is. Staying up late… waking up early, sometimes you have to do so to get in the words!
Goals are important to some people: I think goals are great, especially in the sense of this answer in which they have a goal time, word count, and whatever else needs to be done to get. It. Done.
Some people find time while at their job. Down time is used to write rather than go on a phone.
Writing > social media scrolling.
If you have a few twenty minute breaks throughout the day, like I do between classes, get in some words. Word vomit. Fast draft. Do what you need to do to beat the blank page and blurred ideas.
Time constraints are helpful for some writers. The boundaries of time relieves the infinite ending of writing and forces the words out. I kind of like this approach, my success in novel drafting is normally during NaNoWriMo. 80k+ words in around twenty days. I don’t know how it happens but that time constraint… I completely get that.
It’s a lifestyle and part of the day to find time for writing for others. They mention this alongside paying bills and doing laundry… writing is just embedded in the day as a task that gets them around.
I love that response.
Other inputs, like talking about staying up later, some people just stay up late through the night no matter what and decide, well, might as well make use of being up.
I think it is clear of a pattern here… finding time to write all comes down to mindset.
It does not matter your life situation, we all have things going on. We are all human. Some days we write, some days we don’t. Some write everyday, some take long month breaks. Some people write on their lunch break, others wake up or stay up late.
The sacrifice proves your dedication and commitment to the craft, something not everyone is able to discipline themselves to. So give yourself a pat on the back and appreciate the words you have produced. It will come over time, writing is a process.
See you soon!