Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Finding the Time to Write

Someone asked me recently how I found the time to write and manage FundsforWriters. I sputtered and came up with, "I have the luxury of working fulltime as a writer."

"No, that's not it," she said. "I can write fulltime, too."

I bit back a dozen smart-aleck remarks. In my house full of guys who worship one-liners and one-up each other 24/7,  one learns to think quick. Even at my age I can spot a quick "that's what she said" opportunity in a heartbeat.

"I don't know," I finally said. "I just like what I do."

The right answer was: "How do you NOT find the time to write?" I thought it, and if I'd had time enough to explain it over a long coffee, without chance of insult, I would have said it. But walking twenty yards to yet another conference speaker was not the time or place.

I would have said . . . you find the time to:
  • kiss your children goodnight
  • brush your teeth
  • fold a load of laundry
  • get your hair cut
  • hit the latest grocery store sale
  • catch a sitcom on Monday night
So why isn't writing on that list? She chose for it not to be. It's that simple. We make time for what is important in our lives.

Make a list of your daily activities. What can you reduce or cut out? Don't make the mistake of rushing to get everything done and THEN sit down to write. You never do, or you don't do it often enough to matter. Move other items on your rushing to-do list. Does it matter that you have to snag underwear out of the dryer instead of having them neatly in your dresser? Are you saying that takes precident over writing?

Write first. Play catch up with other things. Well, maybe after you kiss the kids goodnight.


Nancy said...

A good point here, Hope. I've answered that question from friends many times when they've asked how I have time to write. We make time for the things we like to do. I can put off dusting without a hair of guilt because it's no fun at all. But writing is one of my favorite things to do, so I create time for it.
Nancy Julien Kopp

Carol J. Alexander said...

Does your friend make time to go to work? It's my job, I get paid for it. If I don't work, I don't get paid. To me, it's that simple.

Ellie Garratt said...

People can be so ignorant. Aggh.