Time is the substance from which I am made. Time is a river that carries me along, but I am the river; it is a tiger that devours me, but I am the tiger; it is a fire that consumes me, but I am the fire. — Jorge Luis Borges
Your life is busy. More than usual — more than ever.
People depend on you: your partner, your co-workers, your children.
You work long hours/ you just moved/ you just started a new job.
You already wake up early to meditate/ work out/ practice yoga/ commute.
You have rescue dogs/ elderly parents/ a newborn/ 1376 emails in your inbox.
You’re on the board, you belong to the book club, you are your sister’s wedding planner, you’re renovating your kitchen, selling your boat, revising your resume and looking for a job, sponsoring a refugee family.
Forget about cooking dinner and doing laundry; you haven’t had time for clean clothes and casseroles in months.
There are a finite number of hours in a day. Most of yours are non-negotiable.
These are not excuses: this is your full and beautiful (sometimes overwhelming) life!
How are you supposed to find time to write?
Here are five things I know about time:
- Einstein proved that time is relative. It feels absolute, but it isn’t. You make time. It comes from you.
- You can’t do everything for everyone and write. (You can’t do everything for everyone, period.)
- You are in charge of setting your own priorities around time. Your life is your own because you built it that way.
- When you complain about not having enough time to write, you are actually complaining about the decisions you have made.
- Balance is a verb, not a noun. Your life balance can’t be graphed on a pie chart – not if you’re living it.
Time for writing will not appear for you if you are not writing. You have to make it. You have to rebuild your life so that you write in it. There is no other way.
When you make time for writing, it will probably feel, at first, as though you are breaking your life. That’s okay. Think of your life as a glow stick: you have to break it to make it illuminate.
DO THIS NOW:
Try this experiment. For one week, write instead of doing something else.
Write instead of checking your email.
Write instead of meditating.
Write instead of reading the newspaper.
Write instead of phoning your parents.
Write instead of grocery shopping.
Write instead of going to work.
Write instead of taking a shower.
Do this every single day for one week, and tell me what happens.
One more thing: in my experience, thinking about not writing takes more time than writing does.
ps – when you have a minute (ha ha) check out this episode of Radiolab to crack open your perception of time. It’s not what you think.