The Truth About Finding Time To Write

by Jennifer Blanchard

Man looking at watch

Writers are always complaining they don’t have enough time to write.  In fact, that’s the main complaint writers have and one of their biggest barriers to getting writing done, as well.

Finding time to write when you’re already busy as hell may seem like a huge challenge. It may even feel impossible at times. But here’s a little secret that may help put things into perspective: It’s not about finding time to write; it’s about making time to write.

Writing is a choice.  Just like cooking at home instead of eating out is. Or like watching a re-run of your favorite TV show instead of doing something more productive is.

Life is all about choices. You get to choose. You get to decide how you spend your free time.

But many writers forget that writing is a choice.

They’ve been trying to find time to write for so long they forget that they don’t have to write. Writing is an option.

Making Time Vs. Finding Time

Once you’ve made the choice to be a writer; once you’ve committed yourself to the act of writing; then there’s really only one thing you can do: Make time to write.

Finding time means you’re trying to squeeze in writing between other activities. And based on how packed your schedule is you may or may not ever actually find that time to get writing done.

But making time to write, that has a whole other connotation. Making time means you’re being proactive. It means you’re building your schedule around your desire to write, rather than building writing into your schedule.

See the difference?

Making time is based on you choosing writing. It’s based on you saying that writing is more important to you then other activities you could be pursuing in your free time. And it’s based on writing being a priority for you.

How To Make Time To Write

Making time to write isn’t as hard as it sounds. It really only requires three steps:

1) Choose Writing–There are literally millions of activities you can do in your free time. But if you want to be a writer, writing has to be one of those activities you choose. By making a conscious choice to spend your time writing, you take away the feeling of guilt that comes from not writing.

2) Check Your Schedule–If writing is important to you; if it’s a choice you’re making, then you need to practice scheduling your life around your writing time, rather than scheduling your life first and then trying to squeeze writing in.

At first it may seem difficult because there is so much going on and life can be unpredictable. But if you always schedule your writing before you schedule anything else, then you’re protecting your writing time. You’re making it so if something pops up during your writing time, you can easily turn it down because you’ve already made the choice to write during that time.

3) Stick To Your Choice–Now that you’ve scheduled writing time and then scheduled your life, you have a reason (and a good one at that) to say no to other requests. And it’s OK to say no. It’s OK not to do everything or be everything. There are only 168 hours in a week. You have a right to protect your time and save it for things that matter to you.

How are you going to make time to write from this day forward?

Today’s Challenge: Begin to face the truth that you do actually have time to write. If you make time, that is. Today, make some time in your day and write.

About the Author: Jennifer Blanchard is the founder of Procrastinating Writers, a blog that offers guidance for writers who struggle to get started. She is co-founder of the Better Writing Habits challenge.

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