A to Z of Things Writers Should Know About Writing: Time

Yeah yeah. I know. It’s August and I still haven’t finished April’s A to Z Challenge. I’m getting there, though.

For those of you who missed it, my theme was: Things Writers Should Know About Writing, and I planned to post once a week on the theme until it was done. But then I published two books and held a month long blog tour…

Which actually brings me to the whole point of today’s post.

Since I define writers as people who are writing, (as supposed to people who say “I have this great idea, but I just don’t have time…”) this relates to actual writers having time.

More specifically, I want to point out that writers very rarely have any time to spare. We never have enough time to write enough. And when we do, we don’t have time for anything else.

It’s a curse, I tell you.

It is, however, quite normal, and you needn’t feel guilty about it.

Nor should you feel guilty when you steal time.

Or when you make time, be it to write or not.

You’re writing. Even if it’s only a small bit at a time.

You’re writing, and that’s the important thing.

What’s your relationship with time like?

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21 thoughts on “A to Z of Things Writers Should Know About Writing: Time

  1. Panic lately. I need to get a book done by Oct. 5. Edits will be in soon for my short accepted for publication. Husband Unit wants to take a vacation. Aaaa! I've no time for vacation.

  2. Ditto Mary P – panic. I have to start teaching part time on Sept 8 and so I am hoping to get as much writing done before then as I can. It puts some odd pressure on me that I find uncomfortable. It's not that I can't get writing done in the fall, but I do have more demands on my time.

  3. Time seems to speed up when I write. I will write for what seems like 20 minutes, when in actuality 2 whole hours have passed. I wonder if there is a psychological term for that…

    And then there are those times you dedicate to writing and you hit a wall, and then later in the middle of the night you are hit with inspiration and can't sleep and then write for hours until dawn, throwing your day off its schedule or working through the day like a zombie…

    It's all good as long as writing gets done.

  4. So true. You know what would give me enough time? If I didn't have to have a bloody day job. I'd have PLENTY of time then. As it is though, it is more a matter of prioritizing. There isn't enough time to do all the OTHER stuff so I need to keep it all in order… the family, the writing, the exercise, the friends, the TV… It is too easy when I feel overwhelms to feel like TV is the answer…

  5. It always bugs me when someone who thinks they're busier than anyone else in the world complains about how little time they have, since we all have exactly the same amount. No one forces us to do or not do anything, and that includes how we spend our time. The worst is when someone says they'd like to write a book if only they had the time. So apparently we writers have been allotted extra time to pursue our passion.

  6. O_O Gosh Mary, sounds hectic on your end. Best of luck with getting done on time!

    Me too, Murees. Me too.

    Best of luck to you too, Nas!

    I agree Alex. It's a matter of choosing what we spend our time on. Even those “quiet times” can be used positively in some way.

    Catherine I hear you. I also try to write more when I know that I'll write less in the near future, but often, there's no point to stressing about it because the stress only makes writing harder.

    I'm like that too, Tanya. As soon as I start writing, I lose track of everything outside of my story. If I'm writing before a meeting, I have to set an alarm before I start so that I don't stop too late.

    Very easy, Patsy. And then we have to get back into the groove all over again.

    I know what you mean, Hart. My day job can sometimes take over the whole day, and when I finish off, the temptation is to veg (to “rest) rather than to write. Never mind that writing rarely feels like work to me.

    Absolutely, Shelly. Those small bits at a time can add to a lot if we keep adding.

    Karen I agree with you. Which is why I excluded the excuse-makers from the beginning. We're able to write, not because we have more time, but because we MAKE more time to write.

  7. I love the way you said this! I never seem to have enough hours in the day. It's always a struggle. But I want to write, and have to remind myself that other distractions are keeping me from that, otherwise I'd probably spend the whole day on the internet 🙂

  8. I've become very selfish with my time since I started writing. For the very reason you've set down. There's not enough of it. No matter how early I rise or how late I go to bed, carving out the minutes to write and still keep everything else –eating, normal maintenance, family, friends–is difficult. And I've stopped feeling guilty for my selfishness. I just tell everyone that's how it is until I stop writing stories.

  9. We could write a hundred book series of “What Writer's Need to Know”. The problem is that it's just way too vast and dependent on the writer themselves.

    That said, my relationship with time is: Annoying. Way too much real work combined with way too many ideas for writing and that horribly aching need to sleep somewhere in there too.

  10. I meant to get more fiction writing done this summer, but I got a job in another state and spent several weeks dealing with a cross-country move and the new job. So to be honest, I haven't been able to write much this summer. Sometimes things come up that get in the way, especially when those things have deadlines.

  11. I agree, Pat.

    Meradeth, the internet is a horrible time-suck.

    Lee I know what you mean. The frustrating thing is that people seem to think that we writers don't actually do anything, so they never understand when we insist on time to work.

    I'm the same, Sherry. I do what I can with the time I have. (And only beat myself up if I wasted my own time in some way.)

    Robert, that's why I kept my topics limited to things that all writers have in common. (Such as the fact that we have to make a choice between writing and everything else every time we start writing. For some people, the choice might be easier to make, but it must be made all the same.)

    Yeah I'm becoming quite a consummate time thief, Kelly. In fact, I'm typing this wondering if I shouldn't steal some right now. ;-P

    Wonderful, Sandra! Use it well.

    Neurotic, I know what you mean. Moving anywhere can put a huge drain on one's time. I hope things settle down for you soon!

  12. I have… very poor time management skills when I'm left to my own devices. I'll either get distracted by everything and am doing like 50 things at once, or I get completely absorbed by one thing and everything else falls to the wayside. When I actually have a job, it helps because I only have a certain amount of time to do things and it keeps me on schedule. This unemployed junk is killing me. 😦

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