All writers have a process that allows them to create. However, the art of "Writing" is often mistaken for that "Process." Hopefully this blog explains the difference, and inspires people to develop their crafts, become writers, or just keep on writing.

Monday, June 26, 2023

Who Has Time to Write?

I know a lot of writers. Part-time and full-time writers, people just starting their journey and others well along their way down the endless path of learning. Many of these people have careers, families, outside interests, and entire lives outside of their writing. And yet, they also write. I am fortunate enough to have flexible hours so I can move around my writing time, but for those who can't, somehow they still write stuff. Good stuff. Stuff that's far better than what the word "stuff" implies. So let's talk about how they do this.

I'll start this discussion with my favorite subject - me. I had the time-consuming job, the hobbies, the outside interests, and so forth. My job also followed me around a lot, so it could eat up time in many ways. Top that with health issues, and one would not be faulted in asking when did I have time to write? The truth is, I didn't have time to write. For every minute of my 24-hour day, I was doing something. Working, sleeping, eating, watching TV - it was all booked by something. However, when I came to the realization that I wanted to write - that I needed to write - I started shuffling the schedule around. I thought about my priorities and moved them, and put some things on the back burner. In short, I decided that writing was important enough to me to make time for it.

Now, I hear a lot of people say, "But my life is really busy." That's fair, but I respond with the story of best-selling author Mary Kubica. She also wanted to write, but she had the greatest responsibility of all - a newborn baby. The only thing more demanding than a newborn child is newborn twins (or triplets, etc.). However, she wanted to write, so she made the time. Her child would wake up regularly at about 6 a.m., so she set her alarm clock to wake up at 5:30 a.m., when she would roll out of bed and write until her child woke up. One-half hour of writing every day with no exceptions (other than the baby). One half-hour less sleep for her was the price worth paying to write, and she did. Her first book, The Good Girl, was written by this process. She now has eight books under her belt (along with another child).

What it all boils down to is how much do you want to be a writer? It is an intimidating thought to start doing the writing thing seriously, and "I just don't have the time" is a nicely packaged excuse to keep yourself from taking that step. However, we can convince ourselves we don't have the time for a lot of things, and people usually do that. Usually, it has nothing to do with available time, but fear of actually doing it. Taking that big step is a different story, and it requires some effort and dedication.

Oh - as for me (which we knew we would go back to), I found my spare time during my train commute. As a regular train commuter, I had plenty of people to sit with and talk to, but I decided that I would use commuting time as writing time. Just me, my laptop, and my stories. Sometimes, friends would show up and I'd spend the ride with them, but usually, I would write. The time was there, so I made it work for me. And that's how I wrote my first book, and now my second book.

Just six more to go, Mary...     

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