I must govern the clock, not be governed by it. – Golda Meir
Don’t wait. The time will never be just right. – Napoleon Hill
You have heard the saying, Time waits for no-one. Time moves on whether or not we like it and so we must like what we do with our time as much as possible. Have you been waiting to start that short story? Have you been putting off curling up with that new book you bought three months ago? Have you had a new story idea, poem, essay, blog post rolling around in your head but just haven’t taken the time to write it down. Since time waits for no one, not even you, I suggest you seize the moment and get doing what you have been waiting to do. We all have only 24 hours in the day, no more and no less. If you and I keep waiting until we have time, we may never do it. We cannot manufacture more time, we must find it. I am certain that if you do seize the moment and write that story, enjoy that book, analyze that topic or write that poem you won’t regret it. So how do you find the time to do what you want to do without sacrificing time with family, friends and of course, the dreaded but necessary, work thing?
Here are some helpful (and humorous) suggestions from now famous Authors:
Stephen King suggest that “If you’re just starting out as a writer, you could do worse than strip your television’s electric plug wire, wrap a spike around it, and then stick it back into the wall. ” Now this one may get you in trouble with the other people you share your home with, so consider this but don’t necessarily do it. I do believe I can safely say, King would want you to follow the spirit of this suggestion and remove your distractions. Presently my desk is in our livingroom and sadly it faces the television. When my children are watching “childish” shows I don’t have much problem but when Paradise or Daredevil is on, it is hopeless. The way I strip the wire from my television is by moving my laptop to the my bedroom, unless my husband is in there, then I go to the kitchen table. Not the ideal location as the living room is nearby, but better than staring directly at the television.
Author of the Long Lost, Joseph Finder explains that “I have a sign up in my office that says JUST WRITE IT. It’s a reminder to myself not to let that annoying critical voice inside me — the one that says, Oh, man, you can do so much better than that! — win. There’s a great Russian proverb: ‘The first pancake is always a lump.’ Your first draft is likely to be a piece of crap — and that’s okay. You can revise it. You can “fix it in post,” as they say in Hollywood.” There’s not much to discuss here. It is pretty obvious-write it! Don’t wait any longer for you to figure out the perfect start or ending. Don’t wait for the perfect moment or day. Just get it down, then get it right.
The author of the famous childhood story, Charlotte’s Web, E.B White tells us that “a writer who waits for the ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper.” Let me ask you, is there ever an ideal time? Some days it’s all I can do to squeak out a few hundred words in between classes, chauffeuring my daughter to skating, directing theatre and marking the mountains of papers from my students. But, if I want to get my stories out I must write it down whenever I can. Sometimes I am up at 3 o’clock in the morning writing and other times I am writing while I am making supper (like now!) How badly do you want it? If you want it, stop talking about it and squeeze in the time between bottle feeding or submitting the next report.
Perhaps you are wondering when to write. Ernest Hemingway declared that, “I write every morning.” Think of it like doing your morning workout and if that scares you away because of all the strain and sweating (and possible pain), think of it like eating breakfast. Who doesn’t like to eat? It’s the most important part of your day. I write whenever I can (and preferably when the house is quiet and still…yay, when does that happen? Not often, but it is my favorite way to write.) If you are lucky enough to set aside a specific time during the day to write, fantastic. But, if you are like many and are swamped with other commitments, than you carry a notepad with you to jot things down, lug your computer in your backpack so that during skating skills (the not so exciting part of ice training) you can tap out a few paragraphs, or write on the bus to and from work. There is time, maybe not a lot of time, but some. And as my husbands says, some time together is better than no time at all. So date your dream! Write that story, pen that poem, craft that essay…whatever it is that you have been putting off, put it off no longer!
Well, my dear HFA follower. I have bent your ears long enough. Kept you from your book (either the one you are wanting to read or the one you are wanting to write). Be encouraged that many great authors have struggled to write But do take their advice and just write. Write whenever, wherever and however you can. You won’t regret it.
Until next time…Write On!
Here’s a very brief Ted Talk about Stopping Time