This may come off as kind of a harsh post, and for that I apologize, but it is something that needs to be said, and heard, again and again for writers. The fact of the matter is, there are 24 hours in everyone’s days. It’s universal. And no matter how busy you are, if you want to be a writer, you will make time within those 24 hours to write.
If you don’t make the time then writing is something you don’t want bad enough.
Notice how I say ‘making time’ and not ‘finding time’. That is because you will never find the time unless you decide it’s already there for you to use.
Simple as that.
Story time: after my Mom decided to homeschool my brother and I, we not only did our schoolwork throughout the day, we also took care of two properties, one in town where we lived and 23 acres outside the city limits, and a wide array of animals. Homesteading was the goal. Smaller animals like chickens, ducks, geese, rabbits, and any goats in their milking cycle were kept in town close at hand so we could care for them. The rest of the goat herd, the pigs, and my horse stayed on the 23 acres. We also kept up large gardens that took up almost an entire city lot as well.
A normal day went something like this: wake up at six, go out and milk goats, gather eggs, feed and water and check all animals. Go shower, eat breakfast, then get dressed and leave to check on the animals at the 23 acres. Once there, feed and water the goats, horse, pigs, and the neighboring rancher’s horses and cattle. Then it was time for pen upkeep, animal training, hiking with the goat herd for exercise, and checking and repairing fences and barns. By the end of that it was usually around one or two in the afternoon. Time to head home for housework and schoolwork, and then dinner and gardening, and finally the night milking the animal checking.
Sounds like a hell of a lot for a single day, right? It was, but it was still a normal 24 hour day, and I still managed to write during it. The trick was to take any unused minutes throughout the day and evening and put them to good use. I could have devoted those minutes to video games or TV shows or internet. Instead, I chose to write. I wrote while eating. I wrote on the twenty minute drive to and from the 23 acres. I wrote on breaks while hiking. I snuck away to write in the bathroom when I was supposed to be doing housework. I wrote at night when all the chores and homework were finished.
I chose to turn those unused minutes into practice for the craft of writing. I could have done nearly anything else with that time, but writing was, and still is, important enough for me to devote precious time to it.
By contrast, my parents could have decided that homesteading was not worth the time and effort we put into it. That certainly would have been easier. My mom could have decided one property was enough, or that eating organic from the source was too much work. My dad could have decided he didn’t want to sacrifice his one day off a week to building barns, fences, and teaching my brother and I practical skills. They both could have decided that homeschooling was too much work and put us back in public school.
But they didn’t. Homeschooling was worth the time and effort to make sure my brother and I had the best and fullest education they could provide. Homesteading was worth the time and effort to improve our food supply, to learn self reliance, and to strengthen our relationship with the natural world.
Writing is worth the effort and sacrifices I make to bring the stories and people in my head to life. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that with all the distractions, stresses, and demands our lives put on us. But every day is 24 hours long for everyone on the planet. There will always be time to write if you really want to do it. You just have to decide when that time is, and if you’re willing to take it for yourself, because no one is going to just give it to you.