(a) Nous avons le temps d’écrire

Encore un article plein de bon sens du « New Hampshire Writers’ Network ». Ce que j’apprécie c’est qu’il est valable pour tous. Cela vaut autant pour l’écriture que le dessin ou n’importe quelle création. 🙂

You DO have time to write.

That’s right. You heard me. I’m talkin’ to you.

Lack of time is the oldest and most frequently used weapon in the would be writer’s well-stocked armory of excuses. It’s the perfect cop out because everyone gets it. We’re all busy. Really busy. There are lots of things we don’t have time for – writing, reading, exercise, meditation, preparing meals that don’t involve items from the frozen food family. Our lives are whirlwinds that start at dawn and don’t end until well past the bedtime we’d hoped for. To say that we can’t find the time is perfectly valid.

But, we can MAKE time.

I know, I know – there are only so many hours in a day and you need to sleep. I get it. I’m not suggesting that you give up your first born in exchange for a magic watch that stops time. (Though – wouldn’t that be cool?  … the watch thing, not the giving up your first born part.)

We build our lives by making choices. Some of our choices are Big Choices – they are easy to identify and we are pretty clear about their consequences. For instance, the job you choose is a Big Choice. If you choose to take a job that requires you to work 60 hours a week, you understand that you will not be writing for those 60 hours. However, there is another kind of choice – the small choice – that eats through your available time like sulfuric acid – melting minutes away with an insidious hiss until you suddenly realize that the day is done, but your most important tasks are not.

The little things really do matter most.

If you want to create time, you need to get a handle on the small choices – wrestle them to the ground and hog tie ‘em so they can’t keep pilferin’ your valuable writing time. Your effort will be well worth it, but I have to warn you – it might hurt a little in the beginning.

Small choices are sneaky. You choose to spend a few minutes on Facebook. You choose to sleep in another hour because it’s good for your health. (Oh, yes – small choices and justification go hand-in-hand). You choose to reward yourself for all your hard work by watching an hour of mindless television at the end of the day. You choose to spend the weekend skiing with friends. You choose to do a half hour of “research” via aimless internet surfing.

I’m not saying any of these are intrinsically bad choices. I’m just saying they are bad choices if your Big Goal is writing. You’re going to have to stop giving in to these distractions if you’re ever going to get anything done.

I know. It sucks. But, not really.

My dad is fond of saying, “Jamie, you can have anything you want; you just can’t have everything.” Though I know he’s right, those words grate on my nerves. I don’t want to have to give up anything. I don’t want to have to sacrifice one thing for another. I want it all. Now. On a silver platter. But, life isn’t like that. To reach our goals, we have to make choices – big and small – that move us in the right direction. Sacrifice is the very essence of choice – each time you choose, you say “yes” to one thing and “no” to another.

Try not to think of it as having to give something up. Think of it as saying “yes” (or, “YES!!”) to the thing that is most important to you. Envision your two choices on a scale – on one side, your writing, and on the other a re-run of Bones … which one is more important? Now try putting your writing on one side and a pile of I’ll-never-get-that-time-back minutes spent cruising Facebook. I’ll bet I can guess which one tips the scales IF you’re paying attention to the choice.

The first step is seeing the problem.

That’s the danger of small choices – they don’t attract attention. They seem unimportant, benign, hardly worth the worry. Don’t be fooled. Small choices are the most dangerous and voracious little time munchers out there. Try this experiment:

  1. Track your time for five consecutive days – write down everything you do and how much time you spend doing it. How many minutes did you spend in Email? How many cups of tea (that got cold before you drank them) did you make? How much faux cleaning did you do? How much junk TV did you watch? Write down each and every activity.
  2. At the end of the five days, take some highlighter markers and color code your entries – yellow for Important Work (as in, important to your Ultimate Goal), pink for Necessary Work (stuff that pays the bills and keeps DSS from hauling your kids away), and blue for everything else.
  3. Look closely at those blue entries. Don’t feel guilty or stupid or ashamed – look with a detached, but critical eye. How many of those activities could you live without? How many could you delegate? Are there any patterns (like jumping onto the Web during the afternoon slouch hour)?

Now that you can see your small choices clearly, you have the upper hand. You’ve blown their cover. You’ll be able to see them coming from a mile away and you’ll be able to choose what you really want – to write.

What small choices are stealing your writing time?

Jamie Lee Wallace is a writer who, among other things, works as a marketing strategist and copywriter. She helps creative entrepreneurs (artists, writers, idea people, and creative consultants) discover their “natural” marketing groove so they can build their business with passion, story, and connection. She also blogs. A lot. She is a mom, a singer, and a dreamer who believes in small kindnesses, daily chocolate, and happy endings. Look her up on facebook or follow her on twitter. She doesn’t bite … usually.

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2 réflexions sur “(a) Nous avons le temps d’écrire

  1. Pas grand mérite à collecter des articles qui ne sont pas de mon cru 😉 J’essaie de montrer ce qui m’inspire, c’est comme mon carnet perso. Mais après tout, si ça parle à d’autres. ^^

    Tant mieux si ça te plaît.

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