Thursday, May 6, 2010
I look at it this way, the time is there and if writing is something you really want to do, something you have a passion to do, something you were meant to do, you’ll find the time. Every day has 24 hours. What you do with those hours is up to you.
I have a full-time job, I teach a class every Monday night at Lancaster Bible College, I write a bi-weekly column for my local newspaper, I’m a husband and a daddy, I’m involved in our local church, and I have a house and yard to tend to. I’m a busy person. I don’t sit around with oodles of time to throw away and decide, What the hay, I think maybe I’ll write some in my free time. Don’t I wish.
Instead, I have to be very purposeful about my writing time. To be honest, all those things mentioned above usually come before writing. Writing is something I fit in here or there, it’s the mortar for my schedule, filling in the cracks.
My “normal” writing time is first thing in the morning. I get up around 5 a.m., take the dog out, get my computer fired up, then spend the next hour writing. That’s my time. The house is quiet, the dog is happy, I’m awake, and most of the time, the story is there and ready to be told. Do I want to get up at 5? Um . . . no. Most people think I’m insane to be getting up that early when I don’t have to. But for me I have to because I do have a passion for writing and I do believe it’s what I’m meant to do. So I looked for time and that’s where I found it. I force myself to get up every morning (and I mean every morning, seven days a week) and write.
There are times when my wife and girls are out that I get time to write during the day (on the weekends) or in the evenings, but that is rare and very special. My best writing time is late morning/early afternoon, but with the work schedule of my real job that just doesn’t happen. So I make due with what I’m given.
Now, with only one hour a day to write I have to make sure my time is productive. During the day, when I’m driving here and there, eating lunch, making phone calls, using the bathroom, I’m constantly tossing ideas around in my head, mulling over plot developments, characters, suspense techniques, and storylines. In a sense, I’m writing in my head so when I sit down at the keyboard in that early morning hour I’m ready to put words on the page and don’t find myself staring at a blank screen for minutes upon minutes. I can’t afford that. I need to be ready to roll when my butt hits the chair.
Look, time for writing is like time for everything else, you have to make it. It’s a priority. We make time for eating don’t we? Because that’s important to us. I’m sure there are favorite TV shows we all watch. Because they’re important to us. Making time for writing is no different. If it’s important to you, you’ll find the time, even if it means sacrificing something else.
So no more excuses, huh? The time is there, find it, set is aside, get your butt in that chair, and start writing. And when you finish that project, you’ll be glad you made it happen.
Thanks, Mike for the guest blog, and congratulations on your newest book being published, Darlington Woods.
Check out all three of Mike's books:
And check out Mike's blog here.