We’ve all said it – “I just don’t have time to write.” I know I’ve often heard these words escape my lips or said them silently to myself on a busy day.

But the truth is we all have time to write IF – and it’s a big IF – writing is one of our top priorities.

The trouble is that sometimes we have other things that are higher priorities – raising children, working a paying job, caring for an ailing parent, spending time with friends, reading great books – OR we let things become a higher priority than our writing – playing on Facebook, watching television, perfecting your Thanksgiving turkey recipe (although I’d admit, that last one is pretty important).

It’s not a question of time. As the cliche goes, everyone has the same 24 hour day, and the truth is that some of us find time to write in those 24 hours. Some of us, however, do not. But it’s not because there’s not enough time.

It’s because we have other priorities – for good or ill, that’s what it comes down to.

Now please don’t mistake what I’m saying to mean that you should have different priorities. I’m not saying that at all – only you can decide what your priorities should be. If you have small children,for example, I’m just impressed that you can dress yourself and keep them alive, let alone write. There’s no judgment about what your priorities are here.

All I’m saying is that if you really want to write – if you really, really do but find yourself not doing it and using a lack of time as the reason – you can do one of two things:
1. You can cut out some less important things – might I suggest TV and Facebook as worthy options? – and free up some time.
2. Or you can reprioritize to free up hours in your day. If you really want to write, I recommend this option.

I suggest you take out a pen and paper and make a list of all the things for which you are responsible. Relationships, parenting, grocery shopping, a job, pets, updating a Facebook page, tweeting, cleaning, gardening, caring for your neighbor, Sunday School, writing – whatever. Then, number those things in order of importance to you.

Look at your list. The top five things on that list are the things you deem most important to you life. If those top five are not taking the bulk of your time, ask yourself what is, and think about how you can rearrange to give those most important things the best of your day?

Some choices won’t be able to move – work and parenting are often not that flexible – but I can almost assure you that you can find some space in there – let the laundry go another day, save the tweeting for the minutes between things, trust that your children’s brains won’t go completely dormant if they watch 25 minutes of a cool cartoon.

Shape your time the way you want to see it. . . and if you still can’t find enough time to write, give yourself the grace to realize that there are more important things for you now and let the writing go for a bit. This life is too short to feel guilty for what you cannot do.

But please, for your sake and mine, stop saying it’s time’s fault. It’s not. It’s just a matter of priorities.