“A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.” (Richard Bach)
I’ve been thinking about this. You see, I don’t have any tips! For me, if there’s something you want to do, you’ll make the time. It’s that simple.
I know that’s easy for me to say. I work for myself and I manage my own time. Right?!
Well, yes. Now.
When I wrote my first book, I had a full-time job that was destroying my soul, a really long commute from Birmingham to London for months on end and an equally long commute from Birmingham to Coventry. If anyone else has tried the M6 at peak time, you’ll feel my pain.
Weekends were mainly spent crying into my laptop while job hunting and binging on Jaffa Cakes.
Motivation was at an all-time low and I couldn’t even spell inspiration.
Still, life wasn’t all bad!
The desire to write hadn’t gone away and if I wanted to write a book, I had to do just that, write a book.
I get a lot of emails and calls from people who tell me they want to write a book but when it comes to it, they find every excuse under the sun not to write it. The reason I use the word ‘excuse’ is because the people I am working with at the moment are really busy people. They have full-time jobs, they have children, they are business owners… the list goes on. They haven’t found a magical portal where the words come easily and time slows down. They have prioritised, they have made the time and believe me, they are rocking it.
When I wrote my first book, it was messy. I had a schedule but I’d sit down at my computer and the words wouldn’t come. When faced with a blank screen, the bestselling ideas that I’d had in the shower, in the car or while in a soul-destroying meeting, had completely disappeared. I could sit and wait for inspiration, or I could go out and find it.
That’s the choice.
I made time. I created space, every day, for writing. Sometimes it was just fifteen minutes with my journal, but I created a habit. I had my book planned out and I had a schedule. Within three weeks, I deleted the schedule and created a new one, a realistic one. It’s not until you start writing that you realise what is realistic in an hour!
In an ideal world, my routine would involve getting outside and spending time with my dogs, having breakfast and then writing. That’s what I do now. Back then, I had to take the dogs and eat breakfast on the way to the place of doom. So, my alarm was set for 4:30 am instead of 5:30 am and that was my hour of writing. It wasn’t easy. I’m a morning person but 4:30 am is still bloody early. At least I could nap in the futile meetings! My burst of fresh air came through an open window and every morning I had a choice.
Get up… or don’t.
Start writing… or don’t.
That’s it. Do it, or don’t!
Everyone has commitments, leads busy lives and can have 101 things on their to-do list. If writing a book isn’t a priority, that’s fine. If it is, make the time. You won’t regret it, I promise.