Too Busy to Write Blog for RMFW

By Terri Benson

Terri BensonYou’re too busy to write? Wrong.

I know, we’re all busy. Life gets in the way of letting us become the truly great writers we know we are. Kids are sick, the boss needs you to work overtime, you’re tired, the sun is shining and you need to get out and exercise. The number of reasons you’re too busy is infinite – or are they excuses?

To be a writer, you must write. A lot. And not just when you have all the time in the world. This is advice for me, as much as for anyone else. It’s so easy to tell myself that I need a long open period to write. That I can’t just pick up where I left off and go. But if I have to, I can. And so can you.

It will take some effort, no doubt. We’ll have to set the alarm clock a little earlier. Write instead of soaking in the tub with the newest best seller. Let the kids watch that video they really want to instead of playing a game with them. Take the teens to the library and let them do research or homework for an hour or two while you write. Ignore the piles of laundry as long as everyone has a clean change of underwear and socks. Record the game and watch it later (refuse to answer the phone until you have a chance to watch so no one spoils it for you) – you’ll enjoy it just as much. Plan a date night with yourself – go somewhere besides home and write, with or without other writers. Let the family order pizza and spend the time you would have been cooking, writing.

Benson_An Unsinkable LoveCarve out those precious moments to write in, no matter how small. Make the most of the time by being ready to write. Know where you’re going to write. Have your laptop or tablet charged, or paper and pens handy. Don’t get sidetracked by research, or try to edit as you go. Just write. Word after word. Page after page.

If you’re not in the process of writing a full manuscript, work on a short story, an essay, an article, a poem. You can get published and paid for those, too, you know. If you are working on a book, set goals for yourself – number of words/pages/chapters you can realistically write, how many hours a day/week/month you can set aside – and stick to them. Give yourself a reward when you reach them – and maybe the family, too (see next paragraph).

Talk with the family and make sure they understand how important it is that you have this time for yourself. Set rules for interruptions (i.e. amount of blood spilled that qualifies as an emergency, or specify that lost keys or shoes do not qualify as an emergency). Don’t give in to little issues that erode these rules – this is important and they need to understand that. Remind them that Stephen King and Nora Roberts make a lot of money writing, and you might, too, if they’ll just leave you the heck alone.

The next time you find yourself thinking “I’m too busy to write,” say, OUTLOUD, “No, I’ll make time, because this is important to me.” And do it.

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As a life-long writer, Terri Benson has one published novel (An Unsinkable Love/Lyrical Press), award winning short stories, and over a hundred articles – many award winning – in local and regional magazines and on-line e-zines. She has been a member of RMFW for the last few years, and her employer provides the location for the Western Slope events. She is currently on the RMFW Publicity Committee, promoting Western Slope events and assisting with articles for the newsletter and blog as needed.

For more information about Terri and her novel, visit her website.

7 thoughts on “Too Busy to Write Blog for RMFW

  1. Patricia Stoltey

    Hi Terri, and thanks for being our guest today. I find I’m my own worst enemy when it comes to time management, so I set aside blocks of “mini-retreat” time for writing. And one of the writer organizations I belong to hosts a four-hour coffee shop “write-In” once a month which is great for those of us who need the (silent) moral support of other writers all working away in the same room.

    Reply
    1. Terri

      I love doing the blog. If nothing else, it makes me sit and write and think about writing when I’d otherwise be fretting over bills or work. I find myself “hiding out” to write more often than not, and have joined some other writers for weekend retreats and get thousands of words done. Write on!

      Reply
  2. Dean K Miller

    On the opposite side of this coin, I take time to say “No writing for (fill in time slot.)” Writing does take a great deal of focus and energy, and for me, if I don’t recharge my batteries, I end up buried in bowl of over-buttered popcorn and a crappy movie, lamenting both the non-writing and the junk calories. But this dang freezing weather makes it easy to write instead of fly fish, but I’ll need to recharge somewhere else. But no matter what, write I will. (Have pen and pad, will travel.)

    Reply
    1. Terri

      I agree. Once I get started, I just want to keep going and going. But for me, too often I get stopped by outside circumstances. Keep up the writing until the fish start calling, then write about fish?

      Reply
  3. Julie Luek

    My life-schedule got all wonky this past year and I’m struggling to find my balance again. I think for me, insecurity takes over. I find the time to work on writing related things because it is such hard work to focus on the main project.

    Reply
    1. Terri

      Are you going to the retreat this month? I think I got stuck on a weekend work thing, but if it (hopefully) falls through, I’ll be there!

      Reply

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