Skip to content

This Writing Life: You Have More Writing Time Than You Think

8 April, 2011

I’ve talked a lot about time management in regards to writing on this blog, simply because it’s something I struggle with a great deal. Here, for example, I listed a number of ways you can use time away from the computer to still do something productive, like reading. Today though, I want to talk about a bad habit I’ve noticed in myself.

Let’s take yesterday as an example. I had a dental appointment at 3.30pm, and I started my evening ‘day-job’ shift four hours after that. With all the to-ing and fro-ing, getting over the anaesthetic and getting ready for work, I was fairly certain I wouldn’t have any time to write between the two.  But I also, that morning, told myself that I probably wouldn’t get any writing done all day.

You see, as soon as something crops up in my diary, be it going to the dentist or doing an extra shift at work or just nipping to the shops, I automatically tell myself that I won’t have time to write. It quickly becomes an excuse: ‘oh, I’ve got to have a late lunch, then catch the bus, then wait around for my appointment. That’ll throw off my whole day and I won’t get anything done.’ And this is for an appointment that wasn’t until 3.30pm. Clearly, this is ridiculous.

In the end, I told myself how ridiculous it was and sat down to do some work. And I edited two scenes, which is what I always aim to do in a morning. That dental appointment made absolutely no difference to my writing time.

I think this is a problem that a lot of writers face. You tell yourself that because of x, y and z, you don’t have time to write. So you check your emails or turn on the TV instead, and then an hour goes by and you really don’t have time to write after all. But, of course, you would have done if you’d just got on with it.

Don’t let procrastination rule your writing life. Whether it’s something that hits you on busy days or on days when you’ve got nothing planned at all, make sure writing is the priority. Do the work first. You may well be pleasantly surprised – like I was – at just how much time you really have.


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: