In all the writing advice out there, some tend to float closer to the top of the barrel than others. One piece of advice that I’ve heard over and over again is make time to write.
This is true.
If you want to write, you’re going to have to sit down and write. Sometimes, finding time to sit down and do the actual writing is the hardest part.
We’re adults. We have responsibilities. I work. I was (until a while ago) going back to school. I have friends and family to keep in touch with. I have my part of house to keep clean. They say that if you love sometime, you make time. For me, this is true. I love writing. If I don’t write, I feel like I’ve let myself down – I’ve failed in some way. So, because I don’t work on Friday, that is my day to write.
I have gotten dirty looks and/or rude comments if I skirt responsibilities to write. Sometimes the urge takes over, you know?
I know that not everyone has the pleasure of a day off to write. If I worked forty hours a week and had children and a spouse? I don’t know where I’d squeeze the time out. It seems that everyone wants a piece of your time. As soon as you get a moment to yourself, here come someone looking for some time. (This is probably why I’m still single. It bugs me to no end when some guy comes along and thinks every single moment of my spare time should be devoted to him. No. Go find a hobby.)
Finding the time within all your responsibilities and commitments might be hard, but sometimes you’ve got to get selfish with your writing time. Set an hour on Sunday aside, or an hour on Saturday. Designate this time as your time, no one else’s.
There will be people that think you’re selfish for having “writing” time. When people ask what I’m doing and I answer with “I’m a writer,” I get this pitied look of confusion. That’s not a job title or a certificate. Is that a job?
There’s this mentality around writers that puts them into the same category as Philosophers. People that don’t write or read don’t consider it a real job.
That’s flak you’re going to have to take. If people don’t understand, well then that’s their problem.
Maybe your “me-time” is sitting at the computer while the laundry is in, or in the car on your way to work, or when the kids are down for their nap (unless that’s also your naptime). Finding that golden zone when your brain isn’t fried from work or school can be the tricky part. When I get home from work, working on an edit is the last thing I want to do.
You might find time when everyone else has gone to bed, or in the morning when they’re still sleeping. Maybe it’s the café around the corner, a weekend at a hotel in a different town, the food joint up the street, your sister’s house, or wherever; once you find that time, it will be easier to schedule your writing time.