Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Carve Out Time

A friend of mine mentioned an interest in writing, but he said he hadn't found the time yet.  He considered taking a week off work and just focusing on writing for that whole week.  I discouraged doing this because it didn't resolve the initial problem: finding consistent time to write.

Dedicating a week to writing instead of a full-time job would be wonderful for many of us, but if that is the only time available for writing, then that one week will not suffice.  Any project started will hang in limbo until the next vacation, and whatever flow of ideas available at that time will be lost.

To produce fiction, we must write regularly.  And by regularly, I mean as close to daily as possible.  For me, it's part of my early-morning routine.  In the past, I've used slots of time at night.  But each day, I know when writing time is scheduled.

Life happens, though.  Schedules break due to the random events around us.  Depending on writing's priority in one's life, the writing schedule either gets interrupted or rises above other items.  That's up to the individual.  But if life's events are constantly getting in the way of a writing schedule, I would argue that it's not really a schedule in the first place - it's simply a wish akin to dreams of weight loss or accumulating wealth.

If you want to write, you must carve out the time.  Look at your current schedule, and push it into a slot somewhere.  But to do this, something must give.  What are you willing to trade?  Be careful in your answer, though.  If you have a family, my suggestion is to carve out time from something personal (if possible); for example, stop playing video games every night (or play them much less), and write instead.  Don't continue in personal hobbies and then tack writing on top of them unless you want to take time away from your spouse, children, or friends.

Time is finite on this world.  Use it wisely.

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