I WAS WRONG – on finding time to write
I’m not so stubborn that I can’t admit when
I was wrong sometimes, and this is one of those times. I’ve been thinking about
finding time to write a lot lately, too.
A few times when I’ve talked about writing –
whether it’s in answer to asks on my blog, or whether it’s in a Writing
Wednesdays post – I’ve said that if writing is something you love, you’ll find
the time to do it.
BOY HOWDY WAS I WRONG.
Some of you guys will know that back in
September I started a graduate job, and it’s been hella busy. I had exams from
September through to the start of December, so I’d get home from my full-time
job and study, and study weekends, and I didn’t even watch much on Netflix. It
I didn’t write anything. At all. I barely
touched my computer. (If you failed the exams, you had one chance at resits,
and then if you failed again, you lost your job. So there was a lot riding on
I thought after Christmas that things would
calm down. I didn’t have more exams for a while, so I’d have evenings and
I was so exhausted and drained by the time
I got home that I’d just collapse on the sofa and watch TV for an hour or two
until it was time for bed. Maybe knock out a blog post.
I was getting into work before eight,
leaving past six, didn’t always take a whole hour for lunch, and I was so
drained. More recently, as the whole ‘busy season’ thing calmed down, I had to
go out to different sites. This meant sitting in rush-hour traffic to Cardiff
for the best part of an hour to get to a client site, and again to get back
home, for two weeks. And then it meant spending three to four hours a day
sitting in traffic to a different client site in Bristol for two weeks.
So yeah, I wasn’t really in an enthusiastic
The first writing I actually did was in
Cape Town, when I was on my movie set. Which sounds crazy, right? Because you’d
think that was the most manic part of the year.
I’ve said before that if writing’s
something you love, you’ll find the time, but I was wrong.
Sometimes life just gets in the way.
Sometimes, like me, you’re so exhausted from everyday life that when you do
actually get some time to yourself, you’re just relishing the chance to do
nothing and recharge ready for another exhausting week.
Don’t get me wrong – I love writing, and
when I do get into it, it’s the best feeling. I get totally transported for a
while. I get so into the story that I could sit for hours.
That’s actually kind of the problem. If it
gets to nine o’clock at night and I’ve showered and eaten and I’ve got some
time to chill, and maybe write, I won’t always write. I’ve got to be up at six
the next morning, and I know that if I start writing, it’ll probably be
midnight before I even notice the time.
The thing about writing is that it requires
energy, too. You need to feel inspired, excited. You want to feel inspired,
excited. You can’t write so well if you’re half asleep and don’t really give a
shit about what you’re writing. You won’t enjoy it then, at the very least.
And sometimes, you don’t always have that
I felt so guilty for not writing. I want to
sit down at my laptop and disappear into a story for a few hours, but that’s
not always an option. Life beckons. Or I genuinely need to just conserve energy
and do something mindless – like sit in front of TV and catch up on a show, or
rewatch a trashy movie I’ve seen a dozen times already.
I felt guilty for using the time I did have
not writing, because I’ve preached about how you’ll find time.
I take it back. You might find time, and
that’s great, but sometimes you won’t, or you’ll want to use the time you have
found for something else.
Sometimes it’s a case of managing your time
properly. I’ve tried setting myself writing goals, but if I’ve been too tired
to meet them, it’s just made me feel worse. I still set myself a to-do list for
the weekends, and recently I’ve been able to use my weekends more effectively.
You might like this post about time
management and writing goals.
I get so excited for the weekends when I
can think, ‘Wow, look at all this stuff I have to do, for my blog, or for that
book I’m working on, or whatever! How psyched am I to get all this done?’
I don’t always manage to get it all done,
because like I said, I need to recharge ready for another long week. But you
I mean, it’s not totally okay – I hate not
being able to write so much anymore, but I’m not beating myself up over it so
much now. I’ve accepted that it’s not something that’s viable all the time. And
that when I do have chance, I need to embrace it, and do as much as I can.
How do you manage to find time to write?
What do you do when life gets in the way? I’d love to hear your thoughts on
this, so leave a comment or drop me a message!