• R J Clark

What are you willing to give up?

Updated: Dec 7, 2018

Aside from "writer's block," the most cited cause for not writing among writers is... drum roll, please... "I just don't have time to write."

Get ready for some tough love.

Yeah, you do. You just have to want it.

There are 24-hours in every day. Take away eight to sleep (yeah, I can't remember the last time I actually slept a full eight-hours, but let's just say eight, k?). Now, take away another eight for work.

That's sixteen hours already allotted, leaving only eight hours per day for you to just do you — eight hours, four-hundred and eighty-minutes.

That's a fair amount of time, even if you take away three hours for commuting, eating, going to the gym, etc.

Down to five hours.

So what do you do?

Here's where you have to make a choice, and it isn't always an easy one. Learn to say no to distractions and yes to your writing.

Turn off the television. For the love of Byron, STOP binge-watching Netflix. I'm not against watching television mind you, but limit it. Last year, I stopped DVRing most of the shows I watched regularly and an amazing thing happened — life went on, and I had more time to myself.

Even if you "only" watch two or three network shows regularly that's about sixty-hours of mindless watching. And this isn't including Netflix or cable shows, which at least tend to have less episodes (thankfully).

Unless you are lucky enough to be a full-time writer, and most of us are not, you have to make time. And that means, you have to give something up to free-up the time you need to put the words on the page.

Do the things that serve you, that make you happy and glad to be alive. Definitely do not give up those things that enrich your life and fill your cup. But if television does that for you, I humbly suggest you're not doing this thing called life properly.

Years ago, I told one of my voice students (yes, I taught voice) who complained she had no time to practice that right now, out there is someone just as good as her, or maybe not, with two jobs, maybe three, two kids (like her), or maybe four, who is her exact type and will be at the next audition she goes to and she finds time to practice an hour every day.

Guess who will get the gig? (hint: not my student)

A few things I gave up along the way to be able to write every day:

television, weekly happy hours, excessive porn watching (note the word 'excessive'), and an hour of sleep.

So, I ask you again, what are you willing to give up to be a better and more consistent writer? And do you really want it?

#writing #writingadvice #fiction #writer #novel #novelwriting

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