Life can feel too much . . . and then we try to squeeze in some writing time.
So we let writing go . . . because – in truth – it’s not the most practical way to pass minutes. Often it doesn’t make us any cash, and it usually takes us away from other people. We can begin to think it selfish.
But writing itself is not selfish. If we use it as an excuse to forego people or responsibilities, if we use it to hide and avoid, then we lay our human selfishness over it. But writing itself is art, practice, health.
So maybe instead of trying to squeeze writing into the cracks between things, maybe we could give it its own space – clear out a little table beside the washing machine or even at the back of the closet. Set writing up with a lamp and some paper, a pen, a keyboard. Give it 15 minutes a day or an hour.
Honor that time as precious . . . rather than as superfluous.
We may find ourselves healthier and less resentful of the things – and the people – who we blame for pulling us away.
My Three Tips for Making Time to Write
1. Schedule it. We schedule in time for other things that matter – church and classes, a favorite TV program, dinners with friends or family. So schedule writing time, too. Maybe you want to write for 15 minutes a day – or maybe 4 hours on Saturday. Whatever works for you – but schedule it just like you do other things. Let people know you’ll be busy during that time, and then step away to honor that appointment.
2. Prioritize. Writing may not be your top priority in life right now, and that’s okay. But if it is a priority at all, you need to honor it as such. Maybe you will have to push “washing the car” to a lower space on your list of to dos so that you can keep your writing appointment. Or maybe an hour of TV a week will need to go. But if writing is a priority, you’ll have to recognize that and figure out what ranks below it on your list of priorities.
3. Honor Your Need/Desire. In our culture, we don’t value art very highly. And in our culture, we teach people that doing things which are good for them – think exercise or eating healthy – are selfish . . . even as we tend to say these things make people more valuable for their appearance. So you – we – have to learn to value and honor our desires and needs. We have to trust that taking a reasonable amount of time to put words on the page is worthy, even if it doesn’t result in profit, even if the only benefit is that it makes us feel better and helps us enjoy the rest of life more. It’s okay to take the time to write. Believe that.
What do you need to do in your weekly life to make time to write and honor that work?