What is the biggest hindrance to your dream to write? Time? Talent? Schedule conflicts? A demanding day job? Other people? Fear of rejection? Lack of confidence? Or, simply too tired to write at the end of a long day?
These are all legitimate reasons that stifle productivity and at one time or another we may experience all of them. But which is the most formidable hindrance to your dream? For many, the culprit is time.
The question is are you controlling the clock or is the clock controlling you? How do we better manage our evolving schedules? And how do we say “no” to competing opportunities so we can squeeze more out of the ever-ticking clock?
I have a confession to make. I have never learned to manage my time. Oh, don’t misunderstand me. I’m quite organized and have many publishing credits, one novel under my belt, a second rolling around in my head and I have a reputation for being a disciplined writer. Then why is the clock such a problem for me?
In recent years, my siblings and I have cared for my father as he slowly declined and later died of Alzheimer’s. Shortly after he died, my uncle came down with the same disease and once again my family and I assumed responsibility for his care and managed his financial affairs. After my uncle died my son had some medical issues involving complex surgeries, my job became increasingly more demanding as my department downsized and I took on more work. Today, when I get home from work I’m exhausted. And life still continues to throw me curve balls.
So what’s the bottom line? How are writers like you and me ever going to find more time to write? As it is, I often write during my lunch hours or “on the run.” (For more on this, type “How to Write on the Run” in the search box at right.)
The bottom line for me is believing this simple truth: The only thing that hinders my dream to write is me. That’s right. While my excuses are legit, they’re still excuses. And, I’ve let myself off the hook. Yes, I can’t control the clock or circumstances, but I can control if and when I write. I can carve out snatches of time even if only in incredibly small chunks. One woman wrote her published novel in intervals of 15 minutes a day. I can find 15 minutes a day! Can you?
I have been a writer for many years, but if I’m honest, there are days I don’t feel like a writer simply because I haven’t written. In these times how do I know I’m a writer? I know I’m a writer because I feel an incessant undercurrent inside that nags me to climb behind the keyboard. Perhaps you feel it too. It’s an urge I cannot suppress. It’s not guilt. Instead, it’s a fire burning inside. Yes, many times it’s on simmer but it’s burning just the same. I cannot ignore it because it often consumes my thinking. It’s a passion only writers understand.
So, ask yourself the question I’ve wrestled with the last several months. If the only thing that hinders your dream to write is you, what are you going to do about it?