I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted to write something, but felt I didn’t have the time.
I can’t count that high.
Something always takes precedence, planned or otherwise, and so my plethora of ideas continue to roll around in my head. The lucky few get written in a notebook or on a sticky note, but many disappear into the cerebral nether.
As many already know, I am currently expecting my second child in May, which puts a huge chunk of pressure on my shoulders. Nothing I do feels like it’s enough to prepare, I constantly feel swamped with work and home life, and my writing has absolutely taken a backseat in the chaos. It’s disheartening to know stories I love and want to finish are just sitting there, all but abandoned, but I just can’t find the time for them.
A few months back, I sat down with the publisher of a local newspaper to discuss what I should do if I wanted to become a columnist, and he, too, explained he felt as though he had too many ideas and too little time to make them a reality.
And the people who do end up writing them all have one thing in common: they made the time instead of waiting for it to magically appear.
Thing is, there are no neon signs that direct you to “Write Now” or fairies in your ear that yell at you until you put pen to paper.
The trick, as you’ll hear over and over, is to just do it.
But what does that mean, really?
A place to start might be to make 15 minute work breaks dedicated to a few paragraphs or an outline. Give yourself one evening a week when you are left alone with your writing. Take an hour before bed or as soon as you wake up to crank out a chapter or short story. Make it one of the most fulfilling part time jobs you’ll ever have.
If you really want to complete a particular work, or set of works, don’t stop making the time to see them through.
Most of the writing I get done is in my leisure time (when I’m on break at work or at home and the only one awake in the house). I take advantage of comfortable, sunny days and go sit outside with a notebook or my laptop during lunch. On the weekends when my kid is napping, I spew some words onto a page that may or may not ever turn into anything more.
And I learned something, too.
When I started to swap out my usual TV series catch-up time to instead draft my own stories, I realized just how much time I spend watching Netflix or playing video games. All that time I was undoubtedly appreciating someone else’s work, I could have been nurturing my own.
All this is not to say you should sacrifice the things that help you relax after a long day, so by all means keep up with those still alive in The Walking Dead or enjoy a quick binge session of Vampire Diaries, but know the writers of those shows (and the books they originated from) put in the time to make their ideas into something more than just a passing thought.
Treat yours the same way they treated theirs: don’t let them sit too long on the back burner and risk losing them for good.
Did this article help inspire you? Let me know in the comments! And be sure to check out our other Tips & Tricks articles:
- Part One: 5 Ways to Approach a Writing Prompt
- Part Two: 3 Ways to Use Your Prompt Response
- Part Three: What to Expect from Sharing Your Work
- The Importance of Writing Crap
- Why You Need Featured Images for Your Blog Posts
- How Writing about Writing can Improve Your Writing
- Why You Should Write a Character Based on Yourself
- How to Use PATHOS to Maximize Your Reach
- 5 Reasons to Stop Comparing Your Work with Others
- Why You Should Make a Soundtrack for Your Novel
- Why You Should Follow Your Passion (like, NOW)
- I Should Really Write that Down
- Keeping Track of WIPs
Please feel free to share any additional tips or your personal experiences with writing/blogging in the comments, and stay tuned for more prompts every Thursday!