Being Selfish: Finding Time To Write


At least I’m not as stressed as these guys. (Photo credit: topgold)

My time management has been shit lately. Part of it’s because of summer—more nice weather, more stuff to do outside, more rescheduling of other things in order to accommodate vacations and visits and the like. Everything from the gym to movie dates to blood donation times is getting moved around, shuffled into a new place like one of those sliding tile puzzles.*

And in all this reorganizing, guess what gets pushed off to the side?

Those of you who guessed ‘writing’, step forward and claim your prize: a narrow-eyed glare from yours truly.**

Despite the increase in daylight hours, there still doesn’t seem to be enough time in a single day to do everything I need to get done. How you people with kids do it, I have no fucking clue, but I salute you and wonder how you manage not to leave the little time-sinks on the side of the road somewhere. I feel like I need an extra couple of hours every cycle just to stay on top of things. Not much. Two extra hours, that’s all I ask. I need more time.

So, how do we do it? When life looms in all its overwhelming glory, a tidal wave of obligation and desire threatening to swamp you, how are we supposed to find more time to make things up?

Difficult question. But least the solution is simple, and like all simple solutions, fucking tricky to implement: you make the goddamned time.

Life will always get in the way. Always. It’s kind of what it does. The question is not how do you stop life from doing that, because that’s like trying to stop the tide, but how do you deal with it when it does?

So we make the time. We reorganize. We stay up late, we get up early. We steal handfuls of minutes from otherwise boring tasks—standing in line to pay parking tickets, sitting on a bus, waiting for supper to cook. We take back lost time.

And, yeah, sometimes that means being selfish. Taking a morning and locking yourself in your room or your office or your underground bunker with a ‘Do Not Fucking Disturb’ sign on the door. Saying, “Sorry, can’t go out tonight, I’m staying in to work on a project. Maybe next week?” Making the time by sacrificing something else. Not forever, but for now.

Because if you really want something, you’ll make the time. And if you find that you can’t, then maybe you should be questioning how much you want it in the first place.

*Which I always hated, for what it’s worth.
**Didn’t say it was a good prize.

4 thoughts on “Being Selfish: Finding Time To Write

  1. There’s another element to this and it’s the guilt. Stealing the time away to write often means there’s a little sprinkling of guilt in there. There’s always something else to do, and as you say, something’s gotta give in the process… Getting the balance right is one of the most difficult aspects of writing.

    • Agreed. Guilt is another big trap. Wish I could say I’ve found a way around it, but it is not so. Now I just take the view that 99.9% of the guilt I feel about writing is misplaced, and can therefore be safely ignored.

      And if that doesn’t work, there’s always bourbon.

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