What's Your Excuse?
Following is the first in a series of kick-in-the-pants writing articles I'll post here for aspiring writers, in which I'll hand over whatever insight I have about the writing life:
One comment I hear a lot from people who would like to write is that they don't have the time. I usually just smile and nod, because I'm no good at impromptu lessons on time management. And, frankly, I think "I don't have the time" is just one of the many excuses that stand between writers and people who wish they were writers.
Believe me, no one has extra time lying around. Time is one of those things that manages to get used up whether we're doing what we want to or not. So if you have five kids, a needy spouse, and a day job, you make some sacrifices to write.
You get up at 5AM, guzzle some coffee, and write until the kids are awake, or you write after they're in bed, or you make arrangements so that you have some free time on Saturday mornings to write. You keep a pad of paper and pen in your car and write while you're waiting for the kids to get out of soccer practice. You write on your lunch hour. You plot out your story while you're driving. You learn to tune out the kids in the back seat screaming about who just hit whom.
You see what I mean about sacrifices? Maybe you give up watching TV or talking on the phone for two hours to your friends or whatever. They're not big sacrifices, but they add up. You could easily write a book in a year even just setting aside an extra hour or so a day during which you can write.
If all this sounds like a drag, then you're probably not meant to be a writer. But if you just had an aha moment, if you just saw the shining ray of light leading you toward that one thing you feel driven from deep inside to do, then hurry up and get to it. Now you've got one less excuse.