They say “not having time” to write is a construction of the mind. If you really want to write, you make time.
For me, I find that usually not writing as much as I would like to has more to do with standard writers block than how much time I’ve actually had, but lately as my life has gotten more busy, I’ve found myself taking the idea of not having time a bit more seriously.
I haven’t written much, not for want of inspiration (it’s amazing what living at a fast pace does for the creative mind), but for want of time to sit down. It reminds me of a moment in an old film, “The More the Merrier” where an obnoxious old man is making fun of a woman for keeping a diary. “There are two kinds of people,” he says, “those who don’t do what they want to do, so they write down in a diary about what they haven’t done, and those who are too busy to write about it because they’re out doing it!”
It’s unfortunate that the more things there are happening in my life, the more inspiring and interesting my life is, the less time I feel I have to write and actually harness that inspiration.
But still, I realize that technically, I do have “time” to write, in that I have the same amount of raw time as everyone else in the world. So for me, what it really becomes is a question of priorities. When I say I don’t have time to write, what do I mean by it really? Here are a few possibilities.
“I don’t have time to write because I have to work now (i.e. keep my job).”
“I don’t have time to write because at the moment my grades are more important to me than writing as fast as I want.”
“I don’t have time to write because I see the value in spending some of the time I haven’t committed already building relationships with real world people (who are more important than fictional people, I have to remind myself).”
“I don’t have time to write because I have other daily commitments in addition to school and work that are non-negotiable.”
“I don’t have time to write because my commute time is long.”
“I don’t have time to write because I need sleep. My health is more important than my novel.”
These are some of my reasons for saying “no” to writing that I don’t think are going to change anytime soon. However, even in the mist of my busy life, I sometimes have other reasons for saying no, reasons that I might have a little more control over.
“I don’t have time to write fiction because whenever I do get a moment of alone time, I opt to chill out and do something relatively mindless.”
“I don’t have time to write because I think the 10 or 15 minutes of time I have open here and there is to short to be worthy of turning on my writer brain.”
“I don’t have time to write because I seek emotional satisfaction in other people’s stories rather building my own (and rarely find it, to the full extent, because there’s always something I would change).”
These are things I do have control over, to an extent, and I can chose how much energy I want to put in to changing this time and making it productive. Over all, I might not have as much writing time as I want to, but that’s okay. I still have a little. I have time to write.