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WRITE: Frequently Made Errors #6: "I Don’t Have Time"

Posted by on November 12, 2010 in time management, WRITE | 6 comments

“I want to write, but I don’t have time.”

“My schedule’s already full—when would I find time to write?”
“I want to write, but I keep putting it off.”
I’ve heard—and made—all these excuses and more about one of the most common writing FMEs (Frequently Made Errors), “I Don’t Have Time.” Yes, I call it an excuse. And so should you.
You’ve heard the saying: You make time for your true priorities. For the past couple of weeks, I’ve made time for (among other things) quantity cooking, homeschooling, writing, preparing two new seminars, and traveling to teach those seminars. I haven’t (as you may have noticed) made time to blog.  
I make frequent mention of my writing career here and on my Facebook page. I speak at writers’ conferences and other events. So it doesn’t surprise me when I meet people who want to discuss writing. And it doesn’t surprise me, either, when I hear one of the common excuses about why they don’t write.
One of the reasons I take time to mega-cook (our family prepares and freezes anywhere between fifty and sixty dinner meals at one time, usually five or six of each recipe, to use over a period of several months) is because this way of cooking gives me time to write. I prefer to take several days to peel, chop, grill, simmer, broil, and wash dishes (over and over) than to repeat this process on a smaller scale every night. With fifty-something meals in the freezer, dinner becomes simple. And I can spend my time writing instead of cooking or cleaning up afterwards.
Do I encourage other writers toward this type of cooking? Not necessarily. It may or may not help you (Intrigued? Check out my mini-cookbook under the “Freebies” link to the right).
However, I do encourage you to make lifestyle changes that will yield time to write. Get up earlier. Stay up later. Avoid or limit television (I instituted that long ago). Ration your time on Facebook or email. Wear earplugs. Set aside a room or corner of a room as your office. 
You make time for your true priorities. If writing’s important, you’ll find a way to get it done. What works for me may not work for you. But a large part of writing sounds a lot like the Nike slogan: Just do it. Today!

What lifestyle changes could you institute (or have you already instituted) that give you more time to write? Share with the rest of us, please!


  1. Having already eliminated TV from the schedule, I’m writing more…except that I’ve added a day job, choir, and a weekly trip to see my daughter. Good for the budget; not so much for writing time. I’m still struggling to adjust, but getting there, with limits on web time (for one). Need to put more limits on time out with friends – much harder to do than cutting out the tv, that’s for sure.

  2. Thank you Marti. I needed this. Now, to ponder, what to give up–

  3. Both you ladies accomplish so much I’m not sure I have anything to teach you! Praying He allows you to write the words He’s placed in and on your hearts.

  4. For me, when I want/need more discipline in my life, I admit my inadequacy to God, and I lay my lack of discipline at His feet. I pour out MY inability to have self discipline and ask my Abba Father for HIS discipline. I “fall off the wagon” often. When I need to get back on, I run right back to My Father, and ask, yet again, for His discipline.
    My own, I have discovered, is non-existent.

  5. Shawna, I’ve learned (or am learning) the same thing. It’s part of a new book I’m writing, in fact. Surrender provides the answer to so many things, doesn’t it?

    Thanks for sharing your heart.

  6. I will be looking forward to that new book!

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