We seem to live in a competitive world. “I’m soooo busy” is a common American refrain. You may, yourself, believe that there’s no imaginable way to make room for any additional activities in your life. With your job, your family, your feline or canine friends, or your volunteer work—you may simply feel tapped out for time. I completely understand the feeling.
Author Sage Cohen believes, however, that time can always be found, if we choose to find it. She writes, “Your relationship with time is far more subjective than you might imagine. The best way to get a handle on how much authority you actually have over time is to start becoming aware of how you are spending it.”
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My first suggestion to you, then, is to track how, when, and where you spend your time. Start by keeping a journal of your daily activities. What time do you get up? How long does it take you to get ready in the morning? How much time do you spend at work, at meals, with your family, or doing life’s “extracurriculars”? Once you’ve monitored your time spent for a week or two, you may be surprised to see how much time you actually … waste.
When it comes to writing time, most people tend think in large blocks of time. However, have you ever considered using those smaller windows of opportunity? What would happen if you got up just a half hour earlier and wrote for an hour in the morning before you went to work? What if instead of a lunch break, you took a writing break and ate a sandwich at your computer? What if you turned off Must See TV and put on your writing cap?
I know, I know, I’ve heard it before: “But you don’t understand. I have kids and a spouse and a cat and a demanding job and a house full of chores. I can’t…” Recall from last week, you can’t say can’t. You can say won’t, as in “I won’t find time to write,” but you can’t say can’t.
Living the writing life sometimes requires a bit of sacrifice. Remember: Writing is a lifestyle; you have to choose it. You must be accountable to yourself.