There are always excuses not to write.
I’m busy. I’m tired. I’m distracted. I had to work today, and the students decided to throw pencils up into the ceiling among other offenses. I have errands I need to do which will take the entire afternoon. Someone is leaving for work, and the house is running at a faster pace so they won’t be late. Someone comes home from work and wants to talk or have you go somewhere with them. The weekends are nearly impossible because I am always out doing stuff.
These are some of my own most popular excuses I find not to write. Chances are some of the same ones I listed are ones on your list of excuses too. Because the fact is there is always an excuse not to write. We’re only human, right? Plus there just aren’t enough hours in a day, and the hours that are there get booked up with other things a month in advance, and whenever I sit down to write something happens that breaks my focus and where I was headed with this chapter. Writing gets penciled into the column “When I have time,” which feels like never.
When you are a writer, you have to make writing a priority and make time to write. But there is no time, right? In reality, we are constantly making time to do things. We make time to go to the gym. We make time to stop in the morning and get coffee. We make time to meet up with friends for a drink. We make time to do all those things and more because we allow our schedules to be flexible enough to fit those things in to everyday life. We tweak our schedules in order to accommodate those activities.
Just as your schedule allows for those activities, you need to start including writing into your daily routine. You are a writer after all, even if you are currently working another job to help support yourself. Writing is one of the things you want people to know you for. In order for them to know you, you need to write.
It can start small. Bring some note paper with you to work, and write when you take your breaks. When you get home, instead of spending half an hour flipping through channels to see if anything is on television, spend half an hour writing. Write during commercial breaks. Write during that sliver of time when you know no one is going to be home, or after everyone has left.
You don’t have to wake up an hour early everyday so that you will have an extra hour to write. Find those little windows of opportunity throughout your day when you can write. Very soon, writing will become a natural part of your day.