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T is for Time

November 15, 2012

A few days ago, I posted to the Florida Writers Association Facebook page, asking people what they wanted for the holidays. Apparently, writers are smartasses–myself included–because there wasn’t a single thing you could actually buy someone in the ideas I got back. But the one thing people weren’t fooling about–the one thing every writer seems to want more of–is time.

For me, the time drain starts in another few weeks. Spring, that is, anything after the second week of January, becomes very difficult in terms of time. There’s Little League and other school-related activities, and my parents are down from upstate New York. Until school’s over, most of my time is accounted for.

And yet, I fine time to work out. Now that I’m not in my twenties any more, I’m a little more prone to injury. But when I’m not nursing an injury, I work out–six to seven days a week. And not just a small workout, but Insanity or P90X, which typically takes an hour. And on Saturdays, when I can, I run for a long time.

There are a lot of people who can write well. But not everyone who can write well is published, or on the way to being published. Some of us don’t actually pant our keesters in a chair and press out the words. The simple fact of the matter is that if something’s important, you’re going to find the time to do it.

I say this to myself first, because from January through the end of school, this blog is pretty much the only writing I get done. Somehow I find the time to work out. And there’s always time for Netflix and Facebook and watching old baseball games on the Internet.

The reason time is valuable–the reason people want more of it for Christmas–is because it’s finite. We only have as much as we have. So the most important things are things we need to put first. And for us as writers, sometimes that has to be writing.

It’s not more time we need; it’s the discipline to properly prioritize the things we do to work writing into the equation.

  1. November 16, 2012 10:50 am

    Too true! I daydream about writing, I read books about writing, I even took a class on writing memoir last year with some retirees (well I didn’t know it was a class of retirees until I was already nervously seated at the first session but at 48, I felt SO young and many of them were SO good!) but when the class ended so did my writing. I was just gifted by my loving family with an i-pad and now I’m reading like a fiend, completely enraptured by the ability to purchase a book on-line, download it and begin reading within seconds so this is my newest distraction. Oh well, I am enjoying the fruits of the hard labor of others who took the time to write…and racking up the Visa bill just a bit:)

  2. November 16, 2012 11:03 am

    Love this post. I’ve told my husband in the past that the best gift he could get for me would be either 1 more hour a day or 1 more day a week—but only I know about it (like Hermione in Harry Potter looking to take an extra class).

    IMO, the best way to get more time is to pay attention to how you use something else that starts with a T: television. Not just “television” in the limited, old-fashioned sense, but also in the video game, DVD and YouTube/Hulu varieties.

    The exercise is good for you, and ditto time with relatives, but my experience with TV is that it sucks time like a tick sucks blood.

    Even if you can’t ditch it altogether, you can limit it to certain times–only Saturday night, or only AFTER you write 1000 words a day, or something like that. You can post a chart monitoring your time and every week you spend less than 3 hrs watching TV/DVDs/etc., you get a prize (a new piece of running gear).

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