Today marks the end of the first week of this website’s re-launch, and already I remember why the website lapsed into the forgotten recesses of my brain in the first place: time. Or, rather, lack of time.
It’s hard to find the time to write. Nearly every writer will back me up on this, especially those of us with full-time day jobs that do not involve writing. (Yes, I do get to write for my job, but it’s strictly industry, and I love what I do but trends and analyses just don’t satisfy that creative itch, you know?) Even with the best of intentions, it’s ridiculously easy to let things slide. You have a partner who would love to spend time with you, or a baby who will only relax if he’s in your arms, or a million-and-one errands to run. You have friends to catch up with and sleep to catch up on. You have showers to take and groceries to buy and you have to pay for the roof over your head month after month, like clockwork, so speaking of work and clocks, you’d better get to it. It’s the age-old conundrum: where do I find the time to do it all?
The answer, I’m sorry to say, is that you don’t. You can’t do it all, and all the self-help gurus in the world telling you otherwise won’t make it so. Some days your job will suffer. Some days your family will draw the short straw. Some days you’ll skip the shower. Some days you won’t have time to even text with your friends. And some days, you won’t write.
If you don’t do it for a living (and, I suspect, even if you do), writing, like most things in our over-scheduled world, has to become a habit—something you do so often that not doing it makes you antsy and uncomfortable. I’m a runner, and when I don’t or can’t go running, I get irritable. I am a much better human when I can run, because my body is used to being physically active. It is, as far as my body is concerned, a habit. Breaking a habit is hard, and not at all fun. But first, I have to run regularly, so I get used to it. I have to form the habit to begin with.
I’m at the beginning, where I’ve been countless times before when life has gotten in the way of my writing for extended periods of time. I have to make my contributions to this website a habit and, hopefully, training myself to write here will lead to my ability to write elsewhere. That’s what I’m aiming for, anyway.
What are your best tips for finding time to write?