Last Friday, I drove down to the Treehouse Coffee Shop in Audubon to give my talk ‘Have Blog, Want Readers?’ to the South Jersey Writers. I had a great time, and since nobody walked out (or threw anything), I think the folks who came enjoyed the presentation.
One thing that always comes up at these talks is the problem of finding time to blog. Since it applies just as much to writing or anything else for that matter, I thought I’d share my opinion on the whole ‘I just don’t have the time’ challenge that would-be writers and bloggers face. As always, these are just my opinions which, like spouses and children, should be embraced or ignored at the individual’s discretion.
Is it a problem or an excuse?
The first thing to do is a quick self-diagnosis. You need to find out whether not having time is a problem to be overcome or a symptom of Excusitis.
How do you figure that out?
It’s simple. If you’re actively working to make time for whatever it is you’d like to do, then it’s a challenge to be overcome. However, if you’re telling yourself (and/or others) that you simply don’t have time, without doing anything to resolve the problem, it’s an excuse.
HERE ARE A FEW SUGGESTIONS WHICH MIGHT HELP MAKE SOME OF THAT EXTRA TIME YOU’RE LOOKING FOR:
1: Get up half an hour earlier and dedicate those extra thirty minutes to your chosen task.
2: Go to bed half an hour later and do the same.
3: Delegate some of your household tasks to your spouse or kids.
Does the TV need your undivided attention or can you get online or work on your latest story while that show’s on? I found I was losing my ‘reading for fun’ time, so I started listening to books instead.
5. Re-evaluate your routine.
Do you really need to go shopping as often? Could you use your lunch breaks at work for something better.
As you read through this list, did you find yourself scoffing? Did you dismiss each one out of hand? If you did, chances are you have excusitis. Don’t get me wrong, that’s not meant as a criticism. It just means that, for now, writing/blogging or whatever you feel you’d like to be doing isn’t as high a priority in your life as you might think.
“You wouldn’t say that if you knew how busy I was.”
The thing is, I don’t need to know. No matter how many things you have on your plate or how busy your working day, I guarantee there are folks out there with the same or worse time challenges who somehow make time to write/blog etc.
So how do you make time?
“Alright Mister Smarty-pants,” I hear you say. “How am I supposed to find some of this free time with the busy life I lead?”
That’s a fair question. Oddly enough, despite my list of suggestions above, I think the answer has little to do with your personal schedule. I think you need to start by asking yourself, “Do I really want to spend time on writing/blogging etc?”
If the answer’s ‘yes’ then you need to make a decision. Are you going to make time for what you want or not? It really doesn’t matter what anyone else says. If you decide what you want to do is important enough, you’ll find a way to make time. If it isn’t, you won’t.
How about you?
How do you make time for your writing/blogging etc?