I Don’t Have Time to Write

Picture of a city street at sunset,.

I follow a Facebook group called 10-Minute Novelists.  The idea is that you can find some time to write even in the busiest day.

I don’t have time to follow the comments in the group.

I have over 500 followers on Twitter, and I follow over 600 accounts.  Most of them are writers.  I do post, but usually in a five-minute spurt via Hootsuite the night before.

And I don’t have time to keep up with my feed.

I started two new jobs this week, I go to a sports practice twice a week, and I’m going to be out all day Saturday from 5:00 am until 10:00 at night.  I’m on my way out the door in five minutes, and I’m writing this right now because I have five minutes and I already had some notes.

Why do I have time for that?

I just joined an online science fiction writing class.  I scheduled time to attend it via Google Hangout on Sunday night.  I was one of the first people to submit a story for critique, and I had time to do a fast-write or two in between times.

Why did I have time for that?

Nobody has any time.  You can’t have time.  It owns itself.

What you have is choice.  You can choose to do something.  Stop worrying about how little time you have.

All you have is now.  This moment.  You can’t live in yesterday, you can’t live in tomorrow or even in the next moment.  What you have is anxiety about time.

What are you going to do now?  What’s your choice?  Why not write?

Why are you reading this?  Turn off your computer.  Go do a timed writing.  Set a timer for ten minutes, and start with a weird sentence.  Let your mind wander.  Keep your hand moving, as Natalie Goldberg says. *  Ten minutes is a long time.  ==========================================

*Here’s a prompt from my file:   The vast man, carrying a shopping bag, lifted his cane and tapped the metal bollards set in the sidewalk.  You can start with that.  Or you can start with “When I got off the bus, two men were out on my street carrying natural-gas detectors and poles, waiting for people to come home from work.”  Or, “The jar lid rattled, all by itself on the counter.”



5 thoughts on “I Don’t Have Time to Write

  1. Rosie Thomas says:

    Great post, very relevant to me.
    I too follow the 10 minute novelists and although I do write everyday, I rarely get chance to post anything on there. Like you I follow literally hundreds of people, mainly writers and do sometimes get overwhelmed by the sheer number popping up in my inbox.
    I am currently working on organising myself more effectively, not always successfully. At the moment I’m preparing two books for Kindle, both overdue. I was getting stressed about it, but of course the more I worried, the worse it seems. My life is crammed to the hilt with obligations & I blamed these, then realised that I should stop worrying and actually settle down and do the work, rather than bemoan my lack of time. Since I changed my mindset, I am able to find enough time to do what I need to do. I have stopped worrying about it. The books will get published when they are ready. That will be in the next couple of days, so what’s the point in worrying?
    Bizarrely, my oracle card this morning spoke about making time and not rushing around! Thank you for giving me the reminder that I needed.

    1. DMT says:

      Yeah, “the more I worried, the worse it seems” is the theme song of my life 🙂 But I have found that “settle down and do the work” seems to put me ahead of an awful lot of other people who sound as if they have more going for them.
      I spend a horrid amount of time organizing myself, but mostly because I like organizing myself and it makes me feel as if I’m achieving something 🙂

  2. Glynis Jolly says:

    I have oodles of time to write, yet my momentum usually lasts about 45 minutes and then I must stop for a while unless I want the most terrible writing ever seen. I do three to five of these spurt sessions every day. I would be in heaven if I could write for two hours each time.

    Do the Google Hangouts have other writing classes? [I’m not a sci-fi writer by any stretch of the imagination.]

    1. DMT says:

      I think the most important thing a writer can do is find out what works best. Three to five 45-minute sessions is far more than most people can manage.
      Google Hangout is more of a tool than a place, a way of gathering a virtual group together to bounce ideas off one another. The leader of the class used to teach physical classes before she realized that she could teach using a Hangout just as well for better money without leaving her house, but then she already has a reputation as a reliable and supportive teacher. I had a hard time finding a class I a) would have time for b) could get to c) thought would be the right fit, and it took me a while to find this one.

  3. Rosie Thomas says:

    I agree with you totally. I don’t have any spare time to write. Yet I write. No matter how busy I am, I still find the time to scribble ideas down throughout the day.
    Finding the time to formally sit at my desk and work is a bit more tricky, for that I have to forego sleep. I write, not because I have spare time, I write because I have no choice.
    I too follow a ridiculous number of Writer through social media, I find them a source of support as well as inspiration and motivation. TV and Facebook are huge time wasters, so they are allocated ‘ cup of tea’ time. It’s all about priorities. I know where my heart lies.

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