Finding the Time to Write

They say “Life is what happens when you’re making other plans” and how true that phrase is! Life is very much a case of C’est la vie on the best of days… but that doesn’t mean that you can’t take back some control! Even with life’s many curve balls and surprises, you can still ensure that you get at least a little writing time in!

Most of us are what are delightfully referred to as ‘starving artists’. We don’t get to write or create for a living. We have families, shift-work, rigorous 9-5 jobs and other responsibilities and commitments that take up the majority of our time and sanity. Our passion for our craft is what keeps us surviving this monotonous grind.

But when you’re as run down as I know I can certainly feel, where do you find the time? Sometimes you want to scream to the Heavens “Do I just pull it out of where the sun don’t shine?” if you get my drift. It can really seem like there just aren’t enough hours in the day. But writing, when it is truly your passion and calling, doesn’t have to be a romantic affair…

We’d all love to sit down with a hot cuppa, relaxed at our clean desk, or by the fire, music of choice filling in the silence pleasantly as we just allow our creative juices to flow. That’s the dream, for sure. But for most writers, it is not reality. The writers who get it done are writers who seize their moments! 

When you’re on the bus or train, on your way to work, rip out that notepad & start jotting down bullet points, sketches and inspiring vocab! Anything that comes to mind. You never know when one of these tasty morsels will prove useful. You know that precious 10 minutes between putting the kids to bed, and them calling out for a drink, the toilet, another story, or to ask about what’s for breakfast tomorrow morning? Grab at that time and make it your own.

Visualise time like it’s a beast to be tamed. Snatch it in a choke hold and don’t let go. Lift it up, look into its eyes and say “Right now, you’re mine and for as long as this lasts, I’m making the most of it!” It doesn’t matter if Hell is being raised in the background. It doesn’t matter if the coffee is cold. Hell, it doesn’t matter if you’re on the throne, to be honest! 

I mean, really. Do you think the likes of J.K Rowling & G.R.R Martin stop thinking, plotting and dreaming just because nature calls? Use every minute that you have available. Always keep a notebook and pen with you. Leave some laying around the house. Make sure you’ve got one in your satchel or brief case, in your desk drawer and by your bedside- because as we all know too well… that’s when the best ideas seem to strike!

Being a real writer is about writing. It’s not about glamour. It’s not about the romance of the Dream. You can hold onto these ideals, and you can project them for your future; but whilst they aren’t serving you, don’t let them hold you back! The day may very well come when you can sit back in a plush leather lounge and pen your tales at your own leisure… but until then, strike while the iron is hot. Make every second count! 

Words are precious. Even those ones you’re not sure about, or those one that you’re pretty sure are kaka. Don’t stress. You can always build, you can always edit- but as they say: You can’t edit a blank page! So Carpe Diem, writers! Seize the day and WRITE.

Til next time,
Zoey Xolton.