Finding The Time To Be A Writer

I’ve been the worst at making time to write lately. From dirty diapers to making lunches, to cleaning house to extended bike rides—my life is a constant state of chaos. And at the end of the day, I remind myself of everything I got done… and then promise I will write at least 500 words the next day.

But the next day turns into the next day, and then the next day, and then the day after that, and so on and so forth until I can’t remember the last time I really sat down and WROTE.

When I focus on the memory of being able to write to my heart’s content, I find myself not appreciating all that I have in my life.

But that’s not the point I’m trying to make.

The point is, I have to stop telling myself I don’t have time today, and instead ask myself, “Is it a priority?”

The answer there should always be the same: YES.

If you’re a writer, writing is always a priority. Yes, we usually have other lives. A daytime job and/or a family and/or a social life to keep up with, but writing is still at the top of the list. If we keep putting off the words in our heads, soon enough we may find ourselves forgetting them.

And we don’t want that.

But how do we find the time we say we don’t have? How do we sacrifice something that sounds fun in the moment, for sitting down and very possibly having writers block? It’s not easy, but I have a few suggestions.

1. Make the time.

This sounds silly, but it’s not. Pick a time of day where you know you’ll have an opening. Whether it means waking up a half hour early or cutting your lunch break a little short, do it. Don’t just find the time—reserve it. Reserve that time to let the voices inside your head come alive and speak on those pages. You owe it to yourself and to your future readers.

2. Carry it with you.

Whether you have Google Docs on your phone, an ongoing note, an easily accessible laptop, or a good ‘ole pen and paper, have something with you to write on, always. There is a time in everyone’s day, or even in the middle of the night, where an idea strikes, and you don’t want to be panicking to find something to write it on. This helps enable your ability to write.

3. Don’t feel guilty.

That one friend that you haven’t hung out with in forever is begging you to come out for a nightcap, but the wheels are turning and you haven’t had this much inspiration in, well, forever. Tell your friend you’re sorry and keep those keys clicking. If she’s not a writer, she may not understand—but she’ll get over it. Never feel guilty telling someone “no” because you’re writing. It is a part of who you are, and you shouldn’t have to sacrifice that.

All in all, everything is easier said than done—but if you want to get that book finished, you have to make the time to do it. You can’t blame lack of time for not doing what you love, because really that only leaves one person you can blame.

Don’t be that person.

Be a writer.