Saturday, October 24, 2009

Today's Excuse: I don't have the time

We use this excuse so much, that if we added up the time we spent making it, we'd surely have added a few hours to our writing time. Look, we have to live our lives-- pay the bills, feed the kids, mow the lawn-- but if we want to be writers, our lives need to include writing. Stephen King wrote much of his first work during his lunch breaks. J.K. Rowling headed to the cafes and wrote there as a single mother. The cafe trips apparently helped her baby sleep. It was a win-win situation.

Excuse Editor Tip: Log-in to your writing

Dieters identify their consumption of excess calories by keeping a food log. Writers struggling to find time to write need to keep an activity log. Track a few days of your life, hour by hour. Examine the choices you are making with your time. A day with no writing-- but with two hours of TV, or a half hour of Facebook stalking? It may not have seemed like a time waster, but it put you that far back on your writing. Just as the dieter becomes aware of the unnecessary empty calories he's taking in because he has to write them down, the writer sees the time that was eaten up on something other than his passion.

If you're thinking, "Two hours of TV?! Who has time for that? I have work, home, parents, kids, friends, volunteer projects, cooking, cleaning, spouse, ex-spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, dog, cat, iguana (yadda yadda yadda) to take care of...THAT'S why I have no time to write!" Your activity log is just as full of Time Eaters as the couch potato's. The difference is, you see all of these as as your unavoidable responsibilities. Give your log a critical look. Do YOU really have to take care of it ALL? Learn to delegate, learn to say no more often. Log in some time for yourself. Understand that you will become a more complete person, and a more prolific writer, if you honor yourself with time. If you are driven to write, make this a priority. Write that scene that won't get out of your head. Leave the vacuum in the closet. It will wait.


A few helpful links:

List of other ways to Find time to Write
A Few More times You can write during the day
Book: Time to Write, tells how other busy people find time to be writers


  1. Your whole site is a great idea. I love it--the Excuse Editor. Could you make one of these sites for housecleaning too? :) I saw your info on WOW!'s Facebook Fan page. Thanks for joining.

  2. Thanks Margo! Don't expect much help in the housecleaning department from me-- I feel better when my house is messy; it means I'm getting my writing done!

  3. Wow...super idea! The people who really have the desire to write buried in the layers of self defeating excuses, now have a support page to begin digging through those dead layers of worthless walls to reach the treasure hidden inside...the creative muse lives! Thanks Tina for being a force to help others achieve their potential! Chris

  4. Thanks, Chris! This comment is a treasure itself-- I wish you the best with your writing...


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