How to Write When you Don't Have Time to Write
by Susan Wiggs
I hear it from emerging writers all the time. I’ve got a great idea for a novel. I’m going to sit down and write it as soon as I...
...get my day job under control
...get my final kid into kindergarten
...out of jail
...get my finances in order
...fix my marriage
...finish painting the house
...pay off the car
...clean the can opener
...clean the rain gutters
...get the puppy housebroken
...retire from my job
...finish watching the third season of "Weeds"
...get my Bachelor’s...Master’s...PhD...
...pay off my student loans
...read all the Stephanie Plum books
...check in with my nineteen thousand Facebook friends
...upgrade my computer
...landscape the yard
...take a vacation
...host my book group
...teach my teenager to drive
...finish knitting this sweater
...forgive my parents
...get over my fear of failure
...get over my fear of success
...get permission from my parents/spouse/children/
...hire an agent
...learn to use the subjunctive case
...stop smoking/drinking/playing online games
...figure out the business of publishing
...lose 20 pounds so I look good in my author photo...
You name it, and a procrastinating writer has said it.
Here’s a dirty little secret. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the cruel reality is this. There will never be a good time to write.
Life will always intrude. That’s what life is. Be glad for that. If you have no life, you have nothing to write about.
The good news is, there’s a simple solution. Make time for the things that are important to you. If writing your story is important, make time for it. Simple as that. Turn off the TV, leave the dishes undone, close your e-mail, grab a notebook and pen, and tell your family, "Don’t interrupt me unless your eyes are bleeding." You’ll be surprised by the respect they give you.
The way you spend your day is the way you spend your life. So quit being your own worst enemy and start being your own best friend. Make time to write, even if you don’t have time.
Susan Wiggs's life is all about family, friends...and fiction. She lives at the water's edge on an island in Puget Sound, and she commutes to her writers' group in a 17-foot motorboat. She's been featured in the national media, including NPR's "Talk of the Nation," and her novels have been translated into more than two dozen languages and have made national bestseller lists, including the USA Today, Washington Post and New York Times lists.
The author is a former teacher, a Harvard graduate, an avid hiker, an amateur photographer, a good skier and terrible golfer, yet her favorite form of exercise is curling up with a good book. Her latest novel, now available, is called Lakeshore Christmas. Readers can learn more on the web at www.susanwiggs.com and on her lively blog at www.susanwiggs.wordpress.com.