All the Good, Bad, and Ugly Excuses NOT to Write by Jules Dixon
Hey, I get it. You’re busy. I’m busy. We’re all busy. Agreed.
You have kids. I have kids. Sure, they’re adults now, but they still come around once in a while and ask for my attention, and I want to give it to them. Cause…I luvvvvs them. ❤
You have a job. I have a job. I unclog toilets and sinks for a living as a landlord, as well as write stories to entertain.
You have a spouse/significant other. Ditto. And he likes to talk to me for some weird reason.
You have friends. Yep, have those, too. They don’t always claim me, but I always claim them.
You have a family. Two younger sisters who like to see me once in a while. I think.
You have hobbies and like to give back to your community. Me, too. Cooking, baking, and dancing. Plus, I have a fondness for drinking martinis on Friday afternoons while sitting on a patio enjoying doing nothing. And I participate in the Omaha PRIDE parade and celebration, and other fundraising events during the year to support LGBT advocacy for equality.
You have animals demanding your attention. Two cats here and yes, they like to be spoiled. Rotten.
You have favorite TV shows/bands/movies to see. I can’t stop watching The Goldbergs, Supernatural, or Friends. Over and over and over.
You have vacations and summer/spring/Christmas breaks. I don’t take vacations very often, but I know the concept and enjoy them when I do. And they’re vital to a healthy life.
And all of this means…You have a life.
You got it.
I know it.
You. Have. A. Life.
And when it comes to life, we have to make choices between have to do, want to do, and need to do. Priorities can feel like hardships and a drag on your excitement. Scheduling everything is rough to get everything done. And having to justify wanting to write over spending time with your spouse or significant other/friends/kids/family or doing other fun things, well, I know it’s hard to balance all and not have someone feel left out. But it can be done.
Make your priorities clear. Make a schedule and put it on the fridge/wall/someplace where people in the house see it. Find a time every day that you can notch out just for you to write, even 20 minutes, which can yield 250 words–a page–would mean a 60,000-word novel in 240 days and still leave time in the year for editing and polishing before sending off to a publisher or agent.
I’m not saying to give up all TV time or friends or fun…I’m saying to balance and make sure expectations are set before you enter into an event. If you say to yourself, I can have lunch with my friend, but I will tell her I’ll be leaving at 2 pm to write my 1,000 words for the day.
Or if you want to write as bad as you’d want to watch that next episode of your favorite TV show, then make that the reward.
And FYI, 1,000 words a day x 5 days a week (giving you the weekends off–yep, I said OFF!) would be 260,000 words in a year–that’s over four 60,000-word novels. Four. Yes…
FOUR. That’s a significant number of books written each year. In fact, that’s quite impressive.
So, set a schedule. Make it a priority. Set expectations. And then do it!
Okay, good luck.
I’m rooting for you!
All gifs from Giphy.