Friday, 4 February 2011

When Do I Have Time to Write?

“Leave me alone, I’m writing.”
 I imagine those are familiar words to many writers, especially if they have families, jobs, commitments. I know I’ve been heard to mutter them on numerous occasions, sometimes in exasperation, occasionally even despairingly. Fitting in time to write, around all the other expectations we have to fulfil, can be one of the hardest tasks we face, and we can find ourselves feeling selfish and inconsiderate if we insist on it. Or worn-out and frazzled because the only space we can find is at two o’clock in the morning and we really need more sleep than that if we’re to cope with everything else.
Read any ‘how-to’ writing guide, writing magazine, or the words of any successful writer, and they all tell us at some point that we need to write every day if we want to make any progress. Stephen King even goes so far as to say, ‘ If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time or the tools to write.’ If we want to write journalistic pieces, we have to research our markets, research our topics, come up with new ideas. If we’ve embarked on a novel, we still need to know who we’re writing for and ensure our detail is accurate and convincing. And, as King says, the best way to develop your own writing style, is to study other people’s.
 For those who are fortunate enough to be able to write full-time, it’s still a demanding timetable. For those who are snatching any seconds they can from their busy schedules to scribble a few words here and there, well, all I can say is, ‘ I salute you.

You might also like to read what author Jody Hedlund has to say about writer's guilt

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