Those words are especially true when it comes to writing. It’s easy to get caught up in the unfinished chores, the outstanding bills, the things that break down, and the weirdness of life in general. Writers need to make time in their lives for writing, otherwise it isn’t going to happen.
I’ve really thought about this lately, because I’ve talked to several aspiring writers over the last few months, many of whom had various unfinished manuscripts rattling around. Manuscripts which they just don’t think they’re going to finish.
One recurring theme keeps popping up.
For one reason or another, they haven’t made time in their life for sitting down and writing regularly. I’m not saying writers have to have a particular time of day to write, or even a schedule. But writing has to be somewhere in the top of the priority list, if its going to go anywhere. It can’t be down at the bottom underneath everything else that needs to get done. It will get pushed off again and again in that scenario. And writing has to be done consistently, or else of course you’re going to forget where your characters are, or what you were doing with a particular plot point.
Maybe some of these writers are at a point in their lives where they’re just not ready to give the time commitment necessary to complete a novel or even a short story. I’ve been there before myself. I can’t even try to deny it.
But make no mistake, when someone says, “I just don’t have time to write,” what they’re really saying is, “Writing isn’t as important to me right now as x.” Where x can be any number of truly serious things including, health, children, family, work, etc. My point is, no matter what is going on, that mythical place where you have all the time in the world to sit down and write is never going to happen– unless you make it happen.
There’s another benefit to writing regularly. You get better! I personally write much rougher prose when I’ve taken several weeks’ break from my desk. Then miraculously, as I get back into my habit, it starts to clean up with little conscious effort from me. I have no idea why it works that way. But it does.
There will always be other things happening. If you want to finish a novel, make the time to write, and then actually do it. It sounds so simple, and yet, it never sounds easy.