Saturday, November 12, 2011

Writer's First Step: Show Up

Today was like any other day; I had to be certain places at certain times. I had appointments.  I rearranged the other tasks in the day to fit in the scheduled events.  No problem, this is life. We take the time we have in our day to do what needs to be done.  

In the past month, I’ve had to take about 6 hours out of my week for physical therapy on my knee.  Of course, taking 2 hours out of my day 3 times a week was not in my “normal” routine, but once I marked it on my calendar, I found ways to make it fit.  The therapy sessions were allotted for the whole four weeks, and if I needed to make a change (which I did, a few times), I had to let them know ahead of time, so that they could also shift their own schedules around. 

When we are trying to “find time” to write, it somehow does not appear. We fill our time with other tasks, rushing around, staying busy (or staying lazy, but with justification at the ready—tired, burned out, etc.), only to find our word counts at the end of the week severely lacking.  And yet, that surprise set of appointments—no problem, you can make time for them. After all, somebody on the other end is counting on you to be there. You can’t let them down.

If this is the case, and you are courteous to those you’ve set aside time for, why don’t you offer the same courtesy to yourself?  Writing is waiting patiently for you to show up, and too often you don’t allow yourself to make time.  Writing is the appointment that you are callously ignoring, and if you do that too often, it may not be so patient. Writing may be tougher to convince to come out after being treated so badly.

Schedule your writing time.

Stick to it.

Nobody likes to be stood up.

What do you use to schedule your writing time? If "whenever I get a few minutes" works for you, what do you tell those who say there's not enough hours in the day? If you really feel there is not enough time, have you tracked your time to see how you are using it?

Happy Writing!   --Tina


  1. Good advice! I try to write some each day, though the output varies, sometimes only a few words, sometimes pages. But the idea of making "appointments" with myself is a great concept--applying this idea would help change the tapes in the head. Thanks for the mental adjustment :-) And wishing you the best as you go through therapy for your knee...

  2. Thanks Kenda. Mental Adjustments make a world of difference; they make time EXPAND!

    Now, if I could just THINK my knee better. Actually, going well. I did have to concentrate on not limping-- I had grown accustomed and did it even when it was no longer necessary. Hmm, mind adjustment!


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