As I’ve written about many times, finding time to write is always tricky. With the 9-to-5 job, a family, and just the time needed to wind down for my sanity, having a solid block of time to work on my novels and short stories seems nearly impossible to achieve. Obviously, stating it as an impossibility is an exaggeration, as so many with similar circumstances made it work, so what’s my deal? Do I not want it enough?
As a writer, the endless questions I ask myself about what is holding me back are all too familiar to others in this creative endeavor. “You aren’t the only one” or “oh man, do I get it” are some of the responses I get from peers when I pose these questions about my stalled progress and defeatist language about the ‘lack of time.’
Ultimately, it boils down to how I strategically use my time, not necessarily my lack of it. Sure, we all want more time, the greatest of rare commodities, but with the little bit I can set aside for my art, do I use it to its utmost? The answer is easy, no. I often find myself distracted during this time or scrambling to figure out which thing I want to work on while dreaming of being able to write full-time. Unfortunately, dreaming does not make a reality; action does.
Where can I fit in writing? When I’m waiting for a coffee or a train, am I writing out my strategy or creating a checklist for my writing block? As I formulated these questions, a clear plan of attack formed that would actually generate some progress toward my goal of becoming a full-time writer. An obsession took hold that bled over into my ‘winding down’ time. Books on writing and writing styles became a casual read before bed, and podcasts about writing fueled my concentration during workouts and walks; all of these led me to one plan, freelancing. This isn’t a new concept by any means, but how I could do it was new for me and created a path I could tread to work as a writer.
In time, the dream of becoming a full-time novelist will come, but for now, utilizing my skills to write for others is all I’ve ever wanted to do. Time, hard work, and some weekends will need to be used as I build up my clientele, but the one thing I always say I must do with my life is right here in front of me with a path forward. I’m now a writer for hire, and it feels good to see the light.