Writing Myth #6 — You need lots of time to write

Join me each month as I share a myth from my book The 9 Biggest Writing Myths (and how to move beyond them). This month we’ll explore the myth about needing lots of time to write.

Writing Myth #6 - You need  time to write

Photo by Macronix, Flickr, licensed by Creative Commons

When we think of writers, real writers, we imagine them holed up in their rooms for long stretches of time, telephones off and do-not-disturb signs on the door. Uninterrupted, their creative juices flow in a continuous stream, until hours later, feeling mentally and physically spent, they are forced call it a day.

The next morning, however, they are at it again, and the next and the next, churning out page after page, chapter after chapter, book after book, while the world quietly awaits at a respectful distance.

We want what these writers have: the time and space in which to write. But how do we find it in our busy lives? We’ve got family and work commitments, and whatever down time we have is immediately claimed by chores, kids, and telemarketers. And so we put our writing off, waiting until that glorious day when our lives become less chaotic. Then, ah then, we will begin to write.

Well, that’s a whole lot of waiting — and it’s a heck of a waste of time. Truth is, you don’t need to change your life to write. You don’t need to quit your job, divorce your family, or get a personality transplant. And you don’t need to carve out huge blocks of time. Any amount of time you spend on your project counts, be it 15 minutes a day or three hours a week. Like a savings account into which you sock a few bucks a month, your investment grows over time.

And with this growth comes a great revelation: Time is no longer an issue. You no longer have to search high and low to find it — i t finds you.

Your project begins to seek you out. At the office, in the supermarket, while sitting in the dentist’s chair, it starts whispering sweet somethings in your ear. It tells you how to write a scene, suggests ways to organize your chapters, drops a name of an expert to interview. Suddenly, you’re no longer alone. Your project is a living, breathing, dynamic creature; a friend.

So open your mind, your heart, you calendar to this friend. It doesn’t take much to keep the friendship alive and have it grow and deepen; just a few quick rendezvous a week.

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