“My parents always told me I wouldn’t amount to anything because I procrastinated so much. I told them, ‘Just you wait.’” – Judy Tenuta
Are you busy from the moment you get up to the moment you go to bed?
It can be difficult to find time to write, especially if you believe it’s only possible to write when you have large blocks of time available to devote to your writing.
It’s crucial to REFRAME your beliefs about what it takes to finish a writing project – whether that’s a book, blog, white paper or Ph.D. thesis.
Do you tell yourself you’ll work on your writing project… when you’re not so busy? When the kids go off to school? When things slow down at work? When you have spare time?
Do you know anyone who has any spare time lying around?
Even retirees are often shocked to find their wide-open days filling up with activities.
Parkinson’s Law (a job expands to fill the time allowed for it) is still in effect.
Anne Lamott said, “Expectations are resentments under construction.”
If we expect that we need “open” time to write, we’ll continually be frustrated (and resentful) because it never happens.
What to do? Update your beliefs and expectations about “writing time.”
Writing is not something you do only when you have an hour or two or three. It’s something you do all the time.
Take pen and paper – or your favorite digital note-taking device – with you everywhere you go.
I mean everywhere. When I lived on Maui, I used to take my notebook with me to the beach because you never knew when and where the muse would show up – and you want to be ready when she does.
Make your life your lab.
Constantly keep your antenna up for insights that are relevant to your work.
If you read something in the newspaper or magazine that pertains to your topic, write it down. If you see something in a movie or hear a lyric in a song that could add value to your subject, write it down (and attribute it!). If you wake up in the middle of the night with an epiphany, a fresh way to look at a problem or a provocative premise, write it down.
Saul Bellow said, “I never had to change a word of what I got up in the middle of the night to write.”
Jot thoughts when they’re hot. Muse ‘em so you don’t lose ‘em. When you capture observations as they occur, you’ll realize you can be “working” on your writing project here, there and everywhere. Writing becomes a part OF your busy life, not apart from your busy life.
You don’t have to sit down for hours at a time to produce progress. You can be incubating your IP (intellectual property), developing your content, and moving your writing projects forward, even when you’re busy taking care of other obligations.
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Sam Horn, 17 time Emcee of the world-renowned Maui Writers Conference, helps people get their EEE (Expertise, Experience and Epiphanies) out of their head, onto the page, and into the world to increase their influence and income. Her popular home study program “I Can’t Believe I Wrote The Whole Thing” is available HERE.