Writing time never magically appears

My children are back in school, my husband has settled back into his regular routine at work, and I run my own Writing Services business from home. I should have hours and hours to write uninterrupted, right? Uh huh.

Some days it’s a struggle just to fit in all my clients’ work and take care of the phone calls and e-mails that are involved in the kind of work I do. Balancing work, my family’s wants and needs (and mine–I don’t want to sacrifice the most important things in my life!), the volunteer things I do, the alone time I need, and my personal reading and writing feels like a tight rope walking adventure. But I like the dizzying rush. I’m not scared to look down. I’d be more worried if I never climbed up and started to inch foot over foot . . .

People often tell me they’d like to write someday. That they’re going to write one day. That they’d write now, but they don’t have time. I have a standard reply: It really is never too late to start, but time doesn’t carve itself. We won’t wake up one day and find that our work calendar has magically cleared, our bank accounts have filled themselves, and our family and friends no longer have emergencies or just want to visit (or I hope the latter doesn’t happen!). We have to make time now. We might even have to forgo something that brings pleasure.

My aunt is up visiting right now and it’s wonderful. We’re good friends and close. I would love nothing better than to just hang out and gab all day, so it was hard to tell her that despite how glad I am to have her, I have to work. But tell her I did, and she’s been great about it. “Oh, Ev, you’re so good. So disciplined.” Uh . . . not really. Not at all, in fact. I just know what I want to do, and I know that next week, next month, next year won’t be any freer time-wise, so I write now.

You can’t try to do things; you simply must do them. ~ Ray Bradbury

11 thoughts on “Writing time never magically appears

  1. How true! And it doesn’t matter if you write every day as far as the struggle goes. Every day I have to force myself to sit down and write more – and I never regret it. The only regrets I have are those days I don’t have the discipline to do what I need to do. Being a writer isn’t easy, mainly because every day we have to conquer our toughest opponent of all – not lack of time, that can always be forced. Ourselves.

  2. Dear Ang,

    Yes, well said. The struggle really is daily and always against ourselves. Weird how we can want something so much and still be so self-sabotaging!

  3. I get asked all the time how I find time to write and I always say that you don’t find the time you have to make time.


    Ps. I’m excited I’ve ordered the Cleavage anthology from my local bookstore. I can hardly wait to read your story.

  4. Dear Laura,

    It’s funny how often the question comes up–and how often people assume their lives are busier than yours . . .

    You’ll have to let me know when Cleavage comes in. I really hope you like “My Mom is a Freak.”

  5. Great post. You have a straight forward, honest style of motivation that really gets the message across.

    Even so, I still cling to magic and hopefully check my bank account each morning.

  6. *laughs at Vello* “I still cling to magic and hopefully check my bank account each morning”… I’m tempted to start!

    Great post, Ev. I appreciate that you don’t even try to say you’re “so good, so disciplined” but rather you know what you want and you know what’s required. Here here.

  7. Thanks, Jen.

    >>>I appreciate that you don’t even try to say you’re “so good, so disciplined” <<<

    I couldn't try – – – some of you know me in person. 😉

  8. The way my life is set up, if I did not make the time, I would never write.

    Recently I did not write for about 10 days. What happened is that when I went to bed I lay there for hours as my brain wrote. The downside is of course, sleep deprivation and nothing concrete. I decided it is best to just make time.

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