Monday, February 2, 2015

You Have to Change Something In Your Life If You Want to Write

A few weeks ago a coworker found out about my upcoming book release and confessed that he's been trying to finish a novel for several years now.

"How do you find the time?" he asked, after admitting that time had been his greatest barrier.

I thought about sugarcoating my answer, but what good would that do him? So I told him the truth: if you really want to write a novel you have to suck it up and make the time. Period. Which means something in your life has to change.

We've all set goals we've failed to achieve (New Years resolutions anyone?) But I'm willing to bet that nine times out of ten, the reason we fail is because we didn't change anything about our current lives to better enable success.

Think about it: let's suppose you decide you want to run a marathon.  You currently allot one hour every day for exercise.  If you ever want to achieve your goal, then you're going to have to make more time to run, otherwise, simply put, you're going to fail. (Unless you're a scientific anomaly and can run a 2.3 minute mile.)

The same is true of writing. If you don't have time in your current schedule to write, then you have to give something up to make time for it. That may manifest itself in less sleep, less TV time, or even less time with friends and family, but it's a simple truth. Otherwise you are setting yourself up for failure, and that's not fair to anyone.

Truth be told this post is just as much for me as for all of you.  Since the holidays I've fallen off the writing bandwagon.  I want to say it's because I brought this guy home to live with me:

Meet Elvis Presley, The World's Cutest Dog 
How Can You Write When I'm Sitting Here Looking All Cute??

But really, it's because the time I'd previously carved out to write has been occupied with other things. Which means I need to reassess my schedule and give up something to accommodate my writing.  Otherwise I'm setting myself up to fail, and I love this new story to much to let that happen.

How do you make time in your busy day to write?


  1. Yes. I've made many sacrifices for my writing. I don't like to think about those though. Instead, I try to think not about the loss, but the enjoyment I get from writing. But on a side not, I recently joined a group of writers on facebook called 10 minute novelists. One of the founders wrote and published a book by writing for 10 minutes everyday without fail. She is currently under contract to write a book about how she did it. I'm not so good with this method, but that's just me. But clearly it works for others. You might pass that along to your coworker. If he can't carve out a large chunk of time, maybe he can be a short time daily writer. Just a thought. By the way, your puppy is adorable!!!

  2. It's not hard for me to make time to write since I'm home during the day. But when I still had a day job, I took time in the evenings and on Saturday mornings. That meant less fun time with the family and a house that wasn't nearly as clean as I would have liked!

  3. @Karen - I LOVE that idea. I've started writing on my train ride into the office using my iPhone. I only have about 15 minutes, but it's enough time to work through a scene. 10 minutes feels achievable no matter what your daily schedule. I'll keep my eyes open for the book about how she did it.

    @Rebecca - I'm the same as you. Evenings and weekend mornings are the best time given that I'm at work the rest of the time. It takes some sacrifice, but it's worth it!