Chasing Inspiration

Friday, January 16, 2009

Making Time

One of the things I realized over the last week is the difference between finding time and making time. Finding time is more serendipitous and out of our control, whereas making time tells me I'm calling the shots.

Let's take writing, for example. In my Dream part of Dream, Plan, Act, I am dreaming of the things I want to do this year. I want to finish two of the manuscripts I'm writing. In order to do that, I need to write. In the past, I have fallen into my writing time. In other words, I went with the "find time" approach. This time, I'm going to make the time. I'm going to make choices and agreements with myself to write a certain number of pages every day. To keep that agreement, I'm going to look for the discretionary time I have in my calendar and instead of making choices to surf the net, instant message, read a book, watch TV, etc, I'm going to choose to write.

There are three big things that keep us from doing what we say we intend to do. I believe. Fear, time and knowledge. Let's continue with writing. We can increase our craft skills through study and practice. We can address the fear through confrontation, truth telling and prayer. We can address the time issue by looking at where we spend our time, making decisions about priorities and then building habits that align with our priorities.

I've been using this for myself to get me in the chair every day. And to get me to do something toward a job search every day. I believe this can work for you, as well. I think I'm going to develop a seminar on this topic. More information to come.

In the mean time, look at the choices you're making and what you're telling yourself about your situation. And experiment. What if you wrote for an hour instead of watching TV? What if you taped your show to watch after that hour of writing? What if you reclaimed your lunch hour at work and wrote then?

There's more behind the obstacles and conditions we put on our time. But it starts with being honest and being open to change.


  1. I think part of it is knowing why you don't make time. Procrastination? Distractions?

    I mean, people find time for the things they want to do or want to do at the time. A lot of authors wake up early or dedicate a certain amount of time to writing. Full time writers have a full work day and part time writers have been known to go from 5-7AM or whatever. You just unplug, turn off, and just write. Yet there's always the fact that the house needs cleaning, the family wants to see you, etc. It just needs to be incorporated as part of the routine so it's second nature and everyone knows it. I found that if I challenge myself to do something for 30 days, that helps. It seems short term and, by the end, it's habit so it's no big deal to keep going. Of course, with mine, it was just to floss daily not write a book. :)

  2. Anonymous12:48 PM

    Great post. There is a huge distinction between finding time and making time, isn't there? For me, at the moment, the struggle is with working out. Somehow the day passes, oops, no work out. It's a matter of prioritizing it, but somehow -- suprise, surprise -- the Internet sucks up my work-out time...For me, it's a self-discripline thing. Obviously, when it comes to working out, I don't have much! (Of course, I could improve my writing discipline too!)

  3. Anonymous12:49 PM

    Sorry for the typos...some writer I am!