Finding Time vs. Making Time

When I tell people I am writing a novel, I receive a lot of follow up questions. Where’d you get the idea? What’s your process like? When do you find the time?

The time question, to me, is the most interesting. A lot of people want to pursue a curiosity but have trouble finding time in their busy lives to do it. Who wouldn’t? Adulting requires a lot of time and effort. I’ve been at it for almost 8 years and I still haven’t gotten it down.

And I was definitely in the “finding time” camp about a year ago, asking myself when will I ever find time to wedge this other thing into my daily life?

I wish I could tell you, dear reader, that time merely appears. That one day you will be sitting idly in a meadow with chocolates, a glass of wine, perfect hair, and you will be smiling to yourself as you type away at your next best-seller. Who doesn’t want to be that girl?

Unfortunately, for us all, perfect-meadow-girl is rarely the answer. Because time does not just appear.

But don’t get discouraged.

You possess the power to make time. Like a cool witch or wizard. (Have I mentioned my obsession with Harry Potter?) And sometimes it’s not very glamorous. Sometimes it means sitting in your ratty PJs at five in the morning, hair in a bun, panda bear slippers on, chugging coffee while writing your next short story. Or editing photography. Or creating a design.

And I won’t sugar coat it. You are adults and can handle it. This idea of making time can lead to hard choices like declining a lunch date to write. Or deciding between, say, a spotless apartment or another 1,000 words. Hypothetically.

But the one thing, that has helped tremendously, is breaking my writing into manageable pieces. During the week, I work on my writing in one-hour timeframes. In one hour, I can write 500 words. Most of the time.

Which is better than none of the time.

And I’ve found it makes writing an 80,000 word novel a lot less daunting. When I’m faced with 500 words versus 80,000, 500 seems easy! Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t. But that’s the way it goes.

The important thing is, I make the time.

What do you want to make time for in your life?

Image by Sonja Langford