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"If only I had more time"

December 3, 2007

This is the one thing that most wannabe romance authors say. “I wish I had the time to write.” I should know, I used to say it too. A lot. Back when I thought taking classes during the day and then working a few evenings a week at a local pizza restauant meant I was too busy to write. And then I had kids and leaned the real meaning of “not enough time in the day”. Oddly enough, when I had less time, it became that much more important to me to have that time to myself, to be able to pick up that story I was working forever ago. The one I could never seen to get to because there was other stuff that needed to get done.

Then I caught on. Writers write. Period. If you’re not making the time to write, then you need to sit and ask yourself why do you want to write. If you ask a published author, or even an aspiring one with a couple of completed manuscripts under their belt, they’ll probably tell you “because they have to.” They can’t not write.

I think for some people that’s always been the case. They don’t remember a time wanting to write and having a zillion reasons why it wasn’t a good time. For other people, you know you want to write, you hear the voices, you see the images unfolding in your mind, yet somehow nothing gets accomplished. For some writing is as much as learning a new habit as it is the need to get those voices on paper. And like any new habit, sometimes it damn hard to make it stick, no matter the best intentions. But here’s a little secret, if you love writing, the more you do it, the more you’ll want to. The more you’ll find that time you didn’t think you could. Why? Because you now have to write.

Sure it sounds good in theory, but when it comes to the execution…

So if you’re serious about writing, here are some tips of getting in the habit of writing that worked for me in the beginning. And let me say that even though I’ve gotten over 20 stories under my belt, there are days when I still think that I just don’t have the time to write. Which is never good when deadlines are looming and tracking down lost pairs of socks is at the top of my to-do list.

1. Know what inspires you to write, what your triggers are. For me it’s music a lot of the time, so every morning the first thing that gets turned on when I get up in the morning is the radio.

2. Mark your progress. To make sure I was writing regularly in the beginning, I started using happy face stickers on my calendar. I had the calendar posted on my bulletin board next to the pc, and it didn’t take long at all to realize I liked putting a new sticker up there for every day I wrote.

3. Talk about writing. Okay, so you’re significant other may not be so keen on listening to you yammer on and on, so that means find someone who will. The internet is a vast resource for finding places to meet people who share your interests. Even lurking on those lists or blogs that talk about writing will help keep you in the right frame of mind.

4. Reward. Reward. Reward. At this point, you’re only worrying about regular daily writing, whether it’s five minutes or five hours, between vacuuming and the next load of laundry or a getting a few sentences in before bed, but do something for yourself as a reward for being consistent.

5. Remember not to let the first three things on this list prevent you from writing. Don’t let that autobuy author that always makes you want to get back to your own writing keep you so absorbed with their latest tale you decide you can write tomorrow instead. Don’t have stickers? Use checkmarks. And set a time limit for surfing the net if reading about writing is one of your triggers.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. John permalink
    October 6, 2008 5:14 am

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