I don't think I've talked to one writer who hasn't said some form of "I don't have enough time for my writing." It's our favorite lament!Â It's also the thing we let trip us up and keep us trapped more than anything else.
Why does this happen?Â Some of it is a real shortage of time.Â You're busy, right? Probably very busy.Â Right now in our world "busy" is the new default mode. People used to ask, "How are you?" and the answer would be something like "fine" or "good" or something of that sort.Â Now at least half the time I ask the question the answer I get is "busy."
Okay.Â Everyone's busy.Â Does that mean you can't get your writing done?Â Maybe. (Ooh, you thought I was going to say "no" didn't you?)
There are times in life when there really isn't enough time to get everything done. There are times--moving, planning your wedding, having a baby, changing jobs, etc.--whenÂ you have to give more attention to one thing while letting other things take a back seat.
If you're in one of those phases then you might not have time for writing just now. And that's okay.Â There will be more time for it later. For now, do things to stay connected to your writing life so your well doesn't run dry (I'll write more about that another time) and get back to writing when the balance shifts again.
If you're not in one of these times of life?Â You have time to write.Â You just think you don't, possibly because you don't know where to look for it or what it looks like.
Mostly what keeps us thinking we don't have enough time to write is a combination of these things:
- Thinking we have to write for hours a day all in one chunk
- Thinking we have to write every day
- Thinking we have to write at the same time every day
- Thinking writing is hard and time consuming so we couldn't possibly have time for it if we don't rearrange our whole lives for it
None of these is true.Â You have time.Â You don't need to have big chunks of time, either.Â You would be amazed at how much you can write in 15 minutes (go toÂ 750words.comÂ and see how fast you can actually write). And the more you practice writing in smaller chunks and writing fast, the more words you'll be able to get down in a short time.
One other thing that can really make time into a stumbling block--not being ready with something to write.
Do not sit down to write with no idea what you want to write!Â The one exception to this is if you're doing a free form writing practice session.Â Then it's okay to sit down and just pour out whatever is in your head.Â Other than that, have a plan for what your'e going to write.Â Then sit down and do it.
Most importantly, just sit down and do it.Â For five minutes.Â Can you give me five minutes?Â Try it.Â And then let yourself be proud. Because five minutes of writing is writing.Â It counts.Â And it adds up.Â It makes you a writer.