I am in the somewhat enviable position of being able to dictate my own writing time. I have no responsibilities beyond the day job and occasionally meeting with friends and family. Otherwise, I am a man of leisure and can write whenever I please. This little intro is being written 1am local time, for example. Now that’s dedication to the cause.
The same can’t be said for all people with an interest in writing. Some have jobs that take up a lot of time and energy – fair enough. Others have families to raise or look after, further limiting their downtime. Again, fair enough. Looking after children is a full time job in itself, and I have all the respect in the world for anybody who is in this position. More so if they also manage to churn out a novel or manage to do something creative at the same time.
I have less sympathy for those that say they never have time for writing, and yet don’t ever make the effort to fit it in. Even a snatched five minutes here and there will soon add up to something more substantial over time. Lack of spare time is never a genuine reason, in my opinion, for not writing. If you want to write then you will do so. You are a writer or you are not. There is no middle ground.
So for anyone and everyone who wants to write that book they’ve always had inside them; or wants to write a journal to help them process their days; or any other writing project under the sun – just do it. Be selfish about your writing time. Make it happen, however you see fit. Snatch that five minutes, or better yet allocate a certain amount of time each day for writing and nothing else. Separate yourself from your friends and family and dedicate yourself completely to the task at hand.
Again, I’ve been lucky in the last couple of years that I’ve not had to argue with anybody over my writing time, but I understand and appreciate that not everybody is in the same boat. In essence, if they truly respect your need for writing time then they will understand and leave you to it. Just don’t become a complete hermit, that’s not a good idea.
And if those daily writing sessions don’t always bear fruit, don’t worry. Once you’ve been doing it for a while you’ll soon get to grips with each session. Eventually your word count will increase and will more than make up for those days where nothing seemed to work. Trust me, I can speak from experience on this one. I am my own worst critic, and I’ll never be satisfied until I have written up every single idea that’s buzzing around inside my head. So it goes.
Anyway, this isn’t about me – it’s about you lovely people out there. Your writing time is precious. Make the most of it.