When you can’t write.

Sam HawkenYou can.

Occasionally I’ll see an author berate his writerly readers about writing every day and writing oodles of words in every session and to hell with you if you want to spend time with your family and I worked ten jobs, twenty-five hours a day, for six years while writing my first novel!

Ahem.  I can see why that turns some people off.  There are a couple (or more) misapprehensions in this attitude, namely: 1) that people write for hours and hours every week, and 2) that those people turn out words like a crazy.  And the fact is that sometimes there really is little time for writing, and sometimes you really can’t crank out a thousand words at a sit, or whatever.  But you can write, and if you say you have no time and you can’t write any words, you’re not being honest with yourself.

I write a minimum of two thousand words a day, seven days a week.  Monday through Friday I write what I call my Weekday Book (natch), and on Saturday and Sunday I write my Weekend Book.  When the Weekday Book is done, the Weekend Book becomes the Weekday Book and then there’s a new Weekend Book. You follow?  I make time for my writing, even when there doesn’t seem to be time, because it’s important to me.

If you want to write, and I mean you really want to write, then you will write.  Maybe you won’t write two books at once.  Maybe you won’t write for two hours at a time.  Maybe you won’t write two thousand words.  Hey, that’s a lot of twos.  What’s happening there?

Do not say you can’t write.  You can write.  When you don’t, it’s because something else has priority for you.  And if it does, that’s totally fine!  No one says writing has to rule your world.  Simply stop making excuses, and get on with your life.