Let’s face it. You can’t find time to write. From the moment you drag yourself out of bed in the morning, until you fall back into it in the evening, a daily barrage of interruptions march themselves in front of you demanding your attention. The laundry needs to be washed, folded and put away; the cat needs to be fed, and box cleaned; kids need just about everything, and instantly too. Spouses need direction, and hand holding, everything from what to wear, to what to pick up at the grocery store. You need coffee, food, exercise, a bathroom break, the lawn demands mowing . . . and so on. There’s no time to be found there, so what do you do? Simply put, you MAKE time to write. If it is what you want to do, then put it on your list, and DO IT. Don’t make excuses, just set aside the time, lock the door, grab your taser, sit your butt in a chair and write for some amount of time, and not until you run dry either. If you are like me, writing comes in ebbs and flows; sometimes the urge gets so strong, that it catches me up like a wave, and propels me forward into such a current of creativity that I cannot stop. By all means, ride it until the urge is spent, and the words no longer come. But — and this is important — you need to force yourself to write a little longer.
Well, that’s fine you say. But what if nothing will come? That, my friend, is a complete deception, thanks to your hideous troll-like friend, the inner critic. This pompous pile of negativity sits upon your efforts to achieve success and throws stones at your momentum. This miscreant tells you that nothing you produce is worthwhile and that all your efforts are a waste of time, and it encourages you to toss everything out you write because it isn’t “good enough” (whatever the hell that means). But what you must do is keep writing. No matter if what your writing is a complete waste, don’t leave your writing pad, or iPad, or laptop until you’ve consumed every minute you’ve dedicated to writing. It doesn’t matter if what your writing is crap — the mere fact you are writing is an absolute affront to your inner critic, and vital to keeping your mind engaged in the writing process. Be that bull in the grammar china shop. Write in fragments. Ignore punctuation — dabble in gibberish. Quality be damned, just write the damned words down, and then when you are done, hit save, close the notepad, and declare success. DO NOT REREAD WHAT YOU WRITE! That is what your inner critic wants; deny him that opportunity. And no matter what, do not throw away anything. It might be crap, but it is yours, and there is no reason to believe it is useless, for as Twain said, “nothing is completely useless, it can always serve as a bad example.”
The next time you want to write, you may want to reread what you wrote — but don’t revise, only refresh your memory. If nothing strikes you from that point, put the work down and start afresh. But if it inspires, suggests, whispers, shouts, bellows or cajoles you into something — then you have succeeded beyond your modest goal of simply writing. You are now writing with a purpose, which makes taking the time to write very worthwhile.