When people start talking to me about writing a book or story, most of them think they need more time.
This isn’t true.
Because you can have all the time in the world, and still get stuck in the writing process.
When someone tells me they don’t have time to write, I tend to think they are procrastinating or that their story or book is not that important to them.
Now, a lot of us like to say we are busy. But what are we busy doing? How do we really spend our time?
If our story or book is important to us, why is it put on the back burner?
We can set up a lot of roadblocks or barriers. The first and most powerful one is our belief system.
Let’s start with the barrier of time. Most people, like I mentioned earlier, think we need time to write.
Yes, we do need time. However, we need something more than time. We need focus.
Focus leads to clarity so that when we do have time, we use it efficiently and to our benefit.
To get started on a book project, we only need 15 minutes per day. This idea can be yet another barrier. Why?
Because people think they need hours upon hours to write. Not just 15 minutes per day.
We can actually get a lot done in 15 minutes when we are focused. I’m sure you’ve done this yourself.
Because time is relative, not absolute. As an example, you can be standing in a grocery line behind 10 people and watch the clock tick those precious minutes away. Or you can be immersed in an amazing conversation with somebody special and hours upon hours pass by unnoticeably.
You experience time according to how focused you are. Time passes quickly when you are focused, and it moves at a sloth’s pace when you are bored and unfocused.
If you want to get an idea of what you can accomplish in one minute’s time, try out my 1-1-5 method. You’ll be surprised at what you can accomplish in just that one minute!
Once you can achieve great focus in 15 minutes, you can build from there.
Now, in order to get there so you can build, you have to be willing to bend your beliefs.
First of all, you don’t need to feel inspired to write. You don’t even have to know what you are going to write.
You just need to write for 15 minutes.
Set a timer and start writing. Stop when 15 minutes is done. That’s the first step.
You don’t have to like what you write.
Your writing doesn’t have to be grammatically correct.
You don’t even have to write complete sentences.
What you will achieve in those 15 minutes, however, is to declutter your mind, so that you can achieve clarity. If you don’t feel your mind is cleared, write for another 15 minutes.
As William Zinsser writes, “Clear writing is a result of clear thinking.”
So, writing is double-edged sword.
Use it to declutter your mind.
And, once your mind is decluttered, use it to discover new ideas.
Because once you’re thinking is clear, you’re free to discover and see where your writing journey leads you. Photo credit: Susanne Jutzeler, suju-foto (pexels.com)