It’s all about the writing. Excuses don’t cut it if you are serious about your writing goals. Whining won’t get the words onto the paper. Taking your dog for a walk doesn’t take all day, and still leaves time for writing. Have an appointment midday? Instead of seeing that as breaking up your day and therefore an excuse for not writing, look at it as a gift – an opportunity to write early, refresh your creative juices, and go back to it with renewed writing spirit.
Typical Other Excuses:
“I don’t have time to meet my writing goals.” MAKE TIME! HOW COMMITTED ARE YOU?
“I keep getting interrupted.” SET GROUND RULES. LOCK YOURSELF IN A ROOM. GO SOMEPLACE (LIKE A LIBRARY) WHERE THE INTERRUPTIONS ARE ELIMINATED. JUST DO IT!
“I need to be inspired to write.” FIND WHAT INSPIRES YOU. MUSIC? ESSENTIAL OILS? CONNECTING PEN TO PAPER INSTEAD OF SITTING AT A COMPUTER SCREEN? IF YOU STILL AREN’T INSPIRED, JUST WRITE. ANYTHING! IT’S LIKE EXERCISING YOUR BODY – ONCE YOU GET PAST THAT CRITICAL FIRST 10-15 MINUTES, IT FLOWS.
“I don’t like what I’ve written.” SO SET IT ASIDE AND JUST KEEP WRITING. YOU CAN FIX OR DISCARD IT LATER! THE IMPORTANT THING IS TO MAINTAIN THE HABIT OF WRITING EVERY DAY. EVERY DAY. EVEN IF IT’S ONLY FOR A HALF HOUR. EVEN IF YOU PRODUCE GARBAGE. AGAIN WITH THE WORKOUT ANALOGY, YOU HAVE TO WORK THOSE MUSCLES TO SEE ANY RESULTS. YOU HAVE TO WORK THAT WRITING MUSCLE TO PRODUCE A STORY, A NOVEL, ANY WRITING.
Are you really, truly, not-just-an-excuse busy? EVEN THE BUSIEST PEOPLE CAN CARVE OUT TIME TO WRITE. THE BLOCKS OF TIME MAY BE SHORT. YOU NEED TO TRAIN YOURSELF TO GET RIGHT INTO IT AT THE APPOINTED TIME AND WRITE, FOR A HALF HOUR, FOR AN HOUR, WHATEVER YOU CAN MANAGE.
Long before I had the luxury of retirement and was trying both to write and to train for marathons and work full time, my weekday schedule looked like this:
- 2:30 am – rise and shine, throw on exercise clothes, drive 1 ½ hours to the gym while listening to books on tape, run 7 miles on the treadmill and spend a half hour on weight work, shower, drive to work.
- 6:30-7:30 am – write
- 7:30-11:30 am – work
- 11:30-12:00 – write or edit and eat lunch
- 12:00-4:00 – work
- 4:00-5:30 – drive 1 ½ hours home, listening to books on tape
As you can imagine, by the end of dinner I was done in for the day. Good thing, because I had to get to bed early so I could get up and repeat this 5 days per week. Weekends allowed a little more time for writing, but even writers need a life – so weekends included socializing, doing some kind of workout or hike with my dog and husband, and catching up on TV shows taped throughout the week.
My point is clear. Making time for writing is in your hands.
JUST DO IT!!