I enjoy working with authors no matter how they approach the task of writing, whether it’s with bubbly joy and passion or steely grit and determination—or, more typically, a combination of both. In any case, these authors have done something that many other wishful writers have only talked and/or daydreamed about: they finished a book, perhaps even several.
And yet most of the authors I work with or know aren’t household names in the world of books, and they’re okay with that. They’re everyday folks, and most of them have full-time jobs. Like the wishful writers who have never completed a book—usually because “I just don’t have the time!”—these authors spend time with a significant other, keep up with family and friends, raise kids, attend church, go to work, see the doctor/dentist, take their cars to the mechanic, cook meals, clean homes, exercise, take care of pets, catch some zzz’s, and the list goes on and on.
So, then, how in the world do these authors find time to write?
The same way we all find time for whatever it is we spend our days doing: they make writing a priority.
Instead of watching more TV, they dedicate time to write.
Instead of checking Facebook or Twitter again, they shut out the world and write.
Instead of keeping up with local sports teams via newspaper, radio, the Internet, etc., they spend a chunk of their day stringing words together to make sentences, paragraphs, chapters—books.
Instead of telling family and friends time and again about how they are going to write a book, they quit talking about it and start doing it.
Instead of reading more books on writing in preparation for penning their own book, they sit down and take the time to actually write. (Yes, it’s good to read such books to hone your craft, but how many books on writing do you need to read before you feel you’re ready to do it? And isn’t the act of writing one of the best teachers anyway?)
And this list could also go on and on. Consider a recent day or even a week in life, and think about where the time went. All of it went to something that had priority-level importance at the moment, or it would have gone elsewhere.
So if writing is a passion in your heart, then shouldn’t it find a place on the priority list every day?
I recall a quote from a pastor, and I think it’s apt here: “Until there is militancy about your passion, nothing will change.”
So what can you get militant about cutting out of your schedule to get writing on the daily priority list?
Even as I finish asking that, I know I need to pause here and say that sometimes it’s understandable why writing just has to sit on the back burner: physical ailments, family issues, surprise life situation, etc. So if that’s you, it’s okay. Just keep on thinking and dreaming about the book you have waiting inside you, and then jump at the first opportunity you have to start, or keep, writing it.
But if you’re able to write and can carve out the time—even in the face of what might seem more “important” or “urgent” priorities—then I encourage you to sit down and figure out how you can make writing a part of your daily life.
So … keep talking and/or daydreaming about penning that book of yours, or actually find the time to write it?
Which will it be for you?