Finding the Time

Many people’s perception of a writer is someone who writes full-time. Much like Ron Burgundy, these imagined writers lounge about in their studies that “smell of rich mahogany” and they “own many leather bound books”. That in itself is a wonderful image.

Most people who write would love nothing more than a room of their own to lounge about it, swirling a glass of their favourite tipple and rocking a dressing gown that would make Hugh Heffner spin in his ostentatious grave. Writing an opus using a quill and ink or a seventies typewriter.

The reality of writing part-time is much more gritty. It is an act of willpower and force. It’s a vocation and an obsession. Something squeezed in around other things. It dribbles between the need to pay the bills and family commitments. It oozes between sleep and the commute.

At home, I have no writing room of my own. I steal time at work to write. (This isn’t strictly true but I like the image.) I write on my lunch break. One hour in the twenty-four that is truly mine.

Every working day. Arse on seat. Fingers on keys. Sixty minutes. Do what you can. Whether it’s editing or writing a new draft, it happens. No excuses.

Because at the end of the day, it is time that we crave as a writer. A fancy space to do the work makes no odds if you never occupy it. Every day I carry my laptop to work and then to a nearby library. Wherever I place my laptop is my writing space.

Over the last few years I’ve learned that nothing you want will just come to you. Your boss won’t offer you time off to write a book. Your kids won’t go to bed early so you can get a few thousand words down. Life won’t bend to your writing will. Bend your writing schedule to your circumstances and be prepared to succeed.

Don’t hang yourself up on where you write. Don’t sit and wait for the muse. Don’t wait until you’ve lit fourteen scented candles and brewed the perfect cup of green tea.

Don’t wait. Write.