FIND the time to write

I should start this piece by saying that, yes, everyone is different, and I realise that some people's lives are a lot, lot harder than other's.


For the next three days I'm in an unusual position. I'm finished my current job, and I start a new job on Monday - giving me three days of ... well, nothing. A three day hiatus from normal life. It's not often adults get those. I plan to write a lot - a few more short stories, and work on some books that need a bit of help. I've also just has my piece OCTOPUS RULES accepted into a new anthology from Elephant's Bookshelf Press, so there might be some work there, too.

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It's all got me thinking, though. About time, and art, and creativity, and how rushed modern lives are and how busy we can get. Writing can take a backseat so much of the time. Because it's not real work, or because it's just a hobby. You get home from work, feel tired, watch the TV, or go out with friends. and before you know it days have gone past. It's easy and understandable.

Bollocks, though.

You have to find / make / reclaim time for art. Perhaps the biggest shock for some people is that writing isn't always fun and writing isn't always easy. I'm not trying to say that it's a constant, pretentious struggle you need to complain about. I am saying that sometimes you have to say no to friends, or get up an hour early, or go to bed a hour later, so you have writing time.

To be professional, and to given stories the effort they need, requires a conscious effort. Three, or two, or seven day breaks from life don't normally come around, and people still write books, get agents, etc., etc. Sometimes you do have to be harsh.

Have a time a week that's 'booked' for writing - Sunday afternoon, Tuesday evening - it doesn't matter when. Stick to it.
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Or just write for the length of a film - and then skip whatever blockbuster's on repeat at 10 p.m.

Have kids? I don't. That's gotta make it harder. But you can find out what works for you - whether it's ten stolen moments at midnight or twenty during the day.

Commute? Brilliant! Trains and buses are good even if it's just thinking about your writing, or taking brief notes.

There just has to be time - time to write and create. It's easy for it to get pushed to the side in a hectic world that doesn't see it as that important. Hell, no. It is important, and you have to convince yourself of that before you can convince others.

So go, write, and be proud of what you do when you can do it.

Photo Credits: Pocket Watch
                       Fountain Pen

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