One of the things I moan about (often I guess!) is not having enough time. Though if I think about it realistically we all have 24 hours in a day.
It’s not the time we have, but what we do in that 24 hours, or 16 hours if we’re generous and allow ourselves 8 hours for sleeping.
If I look seriously at my day there are plenty of things that look like activities but are really just distractions: unnecessary phone calls, surfing the net aka research, you get the idea...
To make better use of our time the first thing to do is analyse how we spend it. Write down the amount of time you spend on various activities, and when.
Be honest with yourself with doing this analysis. How many hours do you waste in front of the TV? Talking to friends on the phone? Again I could go on but you get the idea.
Most of us will already know what times of the day we are most creative. That is obviously the time we should be putting in our hard work and writing. It’s far from a perfect world and often we will have to compromise. Our best time for writing might be when we should be at work, or we have other things we need to do. But there will be some things we can change.
Boy I’m sounding like a schoolteacher here, and I can tell you I’m far from being perfect, but I have realised if I want to be able to put novelist as my job title then I need to get serious about it. I can still talk to friends and watch TV but only after I’ve put in the time on my writing.
It’s not that we shouldn’t do these other things, but we should be aware of the time they are taking, and whether we absolutely have to do them when we should be writing.
If these activities are taking precious writing time then make the calls, or do the research at a time when we aren’t so creative, or there are other people around which inhibit the concentration we need for writing.
More hours in the day won’t help – besides I can’t see it happening anytime soon. We need to be in charge of the hours we have in the day, rather than let them get away from us.