At the beginning of every week, around 11am Monday morning, I feel my most eager and inspired. I decide that I will go to the gym every morning and write every day–two resolutions I’ve had for years now. So I head off to work with these great intentions and when I get home for the hour and a half break before my class, I reason with myself that just a little TV is okay. I am off to class in a shot while and I’m eating lunch–it’s the perfect time to catch an episode of Law and Order: SVU, and after class I will get down to work.
So I go to my roughly two and a half hour class only to return home mentally exhausted and extremely hungry. So I once again reason with myself that a little TV is okay, just to give my brain a short break while I eating dinner. Once again a perfect opportunity to catch a few reruns of How I Met Your Mother (that I’ve already seen twenty times.)
Before I know it, it’s 9pm. I’m starting to get tired and I’ve done absolutely nothing.
And the most frustrating part is that I did it to myself–I let my own lack of self discipline keep me from doing the things I am most passionate about all for the sake of a few mindless hours on the couch. And I know I am not the only one.
Whether it’s grad school, undergrad, or the working world, finding time to write is always a challenge. We have responsibilities and also adorable pets that keep us distracted (new kitten–more later.) But the only way to solve this problem is rather than find time, one has to make time.
The first step in making time to write is to admit that you aren’t trying as hard as you could to do so. Sure, I only have an hour and half between work and class that I would rather sit munching and watching TV, but I could also spend that time writing. I actually do better in class when I keep myself mentally stimulated rather than trying to discuss Shakespeare after completely shutting by brain off.
To combat this “I’m tired, TV is easier” mentality, I have decided to cut out the mindless, whatever’s-on viewing and limit myself to Netflix while I make dinner and the once a week time slots for my favorite shows.
What other kinds of things can you cut back on? TV is always the easiest culprit to identify, but there are other time suckers out there as well. How about the computer? Reddit is a huge time waster for me, even if I do spend most my time in either r/books or r/writing. But video games and online chatting are frienemies as well. Sometimes to get writing done, you just have to turn the internet off on your computer. And maybe save your video games for when your friends are online instead of playing with whatever 12-year-old is home sick from school (and screaming obscenities at you).
It’s not easy, I am the first to admit. I am writing this post at work now and in about an hour I have to go force myself not to turn the TV on when I get home–to use that time to do something constructive.
Nothing to write about? NOT an excuse! Write about anything–just make sure you’re writing. The sooner you make it a priority in your life, the sooner you will have something to write about.
Now go forth my friend! Go forth and write! Besides, there’s nothing good on right now anyway.