I want to write a book but I just don’t have the time!
Writers are lucky, they have all day to write!
I’m busy with work/school/binge-watching Netflix- I don’t have time to write!
Do any of those sound like you?
I used to think that too, that I was just too busy to write. I wanted to write a book and I wanted to blog, but there were too many things that I had to do. Guess what? I never wrote anything. I’d dream of writing, finally being able to type ‘The End’ at the end of a draft or clicking ‘post’ before an article I wrote was published for the world to see, but none of those things ever happened. Today, I have typed ‘The End,’ I’ve drafted a full-length novel, and I published this article, my first post.
I promise that I didn’t drop out of school or lock myself in my room everyday and not talk to anyone so I could write. If anything, I’m busier than ever with coursework and making time to do everything I want to fit in.
So what changed?
Looking back, it’s simple. I didn’t magically create more time for myself to write. Instead, I changed my mentality. Instead of thinking that I don’t have the time to write, I realized that writers are people who write. Not people that think about writing or dream about writing or talk about writing- To be a writer, you need to write.
But I’m busy!
I know you’re busy. We’re all busy, but the bottom line is that if you ever want to finish that novel that’s been collecting dust for the last six months or see your poem published by a magazine, you have to write. Everyone is busy, but if you really want to do something, you’ll make time for it. If you really want to binge-watch Orange is the New Black, you’ll read through your textbook five minutes before class (not recommended) to make it happen. Similarly, if you want to write, you need to make time for it. How?
Prioritize your writing
I know that on some days (alright, most days), it feels like there’s so much to do, we can’t even get to all the things we need to finish, let alone find time for writing. Most of us end up trying to finish the work we need to have done by tomorrow, telling ourselves that once we’re done, then we’ll write-
By then, it’ll probably be 1 a.m. and you’ll be crawling into bed saying ‘I’ll write tomorrow’ or you’ll be sleep-writing gibberish. Don’t do that. There’s a better way to make sure you write: by prioritizing your writing.
Who are you more afraid of disappointing, your boss or yourself? Probably your boss. If you don’t do something you told yourself you would do, no problem, but if you don’t finish that job your boss gave you, you’re in trouble. That’s why you make yourself finish that project or paper that’s due the next day even if it means not going out but you can let yourself slide for not writing.
Instead, prioritize your writing. Whenever you get out of class or work, write. Don’t tell yourself ‘I need to start on the reading first’ or ‘after I finish looking through this report,’ just write. Write until you hit your daily quota and don’t let yourself stop.
This might set you back an hour before you start on your ‘real work.’ Chances are, now you’re thinking, “Now I’ll never finish everything that I have to do!” Wrong. You’re not willing to disappoint your boss or professors, remember? You know you’ll get your work done because you’ll be answering to someone else. You know you’ll finish it. It might mean an hour less of watching cat videos on YouTube, but you’ll get it done.
And best of all?
You’ll have written something.
How do you find time to write? Comment your strategies and tips below.