These are the most common words I’ve heard from the writers I know. It’s also the biggest lie I’ve heard them tell. The real meaning of these words comes down to one of two things:
1. I don’t believe in my ability to write, so this is my excuse to avoid it.
2. I am unwilling to make writing a priority in my life.
The next time you say, or think, the words, ‘I don’t have time to write’, I want you to stop and be honest with yourself. Which of the above-mentioned meanings relate to how you’re feeling at the time?
If you don’t believe in your ability to write, there are steps you can take to change that. The best way to gain confidence in your writing ability is to write. As much as you can, as often as you can. You can also read books on how to refine your writing skills and gain feedback from those you trust to be honest with you.
If you are unwilling to make writing a priority in your life, you may need to question how important it is to you. ‘Oh, but I am so busy’, I hear some of you cry. Let me share my story with you:
I am a mother and wife. When I was writing my first novel, After The Dawn, I was also studying full-time, working part-time and writing a regular feature column. I managed to finish the complete manuscript, including edits, within twelve months. It was hard. Sometimes I didn’t want to make writing a priority, sometimes I didn’t believe in my abilities, but I kept going.
I would write as soon as my children went to sleep at night and, sometimes, I wouldn’t get to sleep until one or two o’clock in the morning. I adjusted to less sleep (as a mother I was already adept at that!) and the habit of writing everyday increased my confidence.
Even if you can spare ten minutes per day to your writing, by the end of the year, you will have contributed over sixty hours. That’s sixty hours more than if you hadn’t bothered at all.
Stop the excuses, stop the doubt and stop the lie. Just write.