How to find the time to write

How to find the time to write

When I was younger, it certainly was about finding the time to write. I had much to do between work and recreation. I considered both these things a necessity (still do, by the way), and writing was a thing I needed to set time aside for.

I did a fair bit of writing when I lived in Key Largo. I worked waiting tables and would mostly spend my leisure time fishing and puttering around the Gulf in a small rowboat I had borrowed. It wasn’t hard finding time to write. I had the time. And I certainly had the inspiration.  But most of all (I only came to realize later in full), I had the routine.

Writing in your routine

It isn’t just finding the time to write. “Finding the time” to do something trivializes it; lowers it on the scale of importance. Try saying “I’d love to drive to work, but I just don’t have the time” or “I haven’t eaten in three days. I’ll need to elbow out some room in my schedule to do so.” If you were to say one of those things in all honesty, you’d have to admit you have to re-structure your routine a bit.

And that’s the thing about routines. They are the structure of your life. If you have to squeeze in something around your routine, then it simply isn’t important enough to be in your routine. The moment I realized that, I started writing a lot. That was when I stopped making excuses not to write and started pushing out more trivial things, so that I could write.

Writing as a habit

As anyone who exercises regularly knows, it is part of their routine, not something  that they do when they have the time. Many regular exercisers start to feel bad about themselves if they haven’t worked out in a while. When they first started exercising, they had to force themselves to do it. If had to be a conscious effort that broke them out of the norm. But at a certain point, it became a habit–something they didn’t have to think about twice about doing.

Your writing can be the same way. I hit the bed and I haven’t written all day, I feel off. Somewhere in making it routine, writing became an essential part of my day.

So if you’re looking for tips on how to clear out your day so that you can write, you’ve started with the wrong attitude. Yes, you can get up an hour earlier, get your mother to pick the kids up from school, or pry yourself away from Facebook to make the time. But if you go in with the right attitude–making writing essential, you’ll be surprised that you’ll be able to come up with these tips all on your own.