This happens to me, almost everyday.
I have people coming up to me, or pinging me on Facebook, telling me that they’re so ready to write a novel, but they don’t have as much free time ‘as I do’ and thus cannot start or finish a novel – even though they know that they’ll make a national best seller if only they got the time to write.
Well, here’s a myth buster.
I DO NOT HAVE A LOT OF FREE TIME!!!
I’m a full time college student and I’m prepping for my summer internship, final year placements and other exams in my free/out-of-college time, so…..umm…no, I didn’t have more free time than anyone else did.
Every time someone says that, I usually get offended and intimidated, that I just nod silently and leave the room.
But later, when I get back to my room, those words come back to me and bug me, because I was perpetuating the absurd misconception that writers are jobless stay-at-home people who have tons and tons of free time, and it’s just not true.
So, this post, is a compilation of all the things that I wanted to hurl at people who think, ‘Writers have a lot of free time.’
Well, first of all, screw you.
Second of all, let me clear the air right here, right now. Most writers do not have anymore free time than anyone else.
And whenever people tell me, ‘Oh, I’d really write a book if only I had the time…’ it really irks me.
Here’s the plain truth. If you really want to write a book, you have more time than you think you do.
I have three finished books, and none of them were completed with me sitting at home, and writing out my leisure time.
I was battling college, CAT preparations and now I’m in MBA – with a schedule so hectic that I hardly even have free Sundays .
Yes, I like to write, but I also like to be an independent woman, so I love the power and freedom that my education gives me.
I do not like it when people walk up to me and say, ‘If you love writing so much, why did you get into MBA?’ or ‘Maybe you should just drop out, stay at home and write.’
It’s such a retarded question to ask.
I do not understand why people get so intimidated by a girl who wants to have the best of both worlds. I intend on building a corporate career, as much as I want to become a published author.
So, I’ll always be writing, when I’m too busy to be writing. And that’s just the life I choose to have over anything else.
Let me break some bubbles, now. Most writers – especially if they’re women, don’t get to be a delicate princesses who happen to have a rich husband and a lot of free time. They’re all strong-willed women who took control of things and decided to fight their own battles.
And among men, look at Ashwin Sanghi!
A successful businessman and a writer.
You see? This is the 21st century, and people know that thanks to technology, our lifestyles can now accommodate passion and ambition – to sit side by side. You can be more than one thing!!
The key is, you have to make time. If you don’t make the time now, you never will.
Writing is a job that pays very poorly (second myth buster, not all authors are millionaires), so if you’re a strong-willed independent person, and you don’t want to die impoverished or under your spouse/parents’ care, you’ll be working a day job or be building a career.
Writers get up early, just so that they can get some writing done before class. They write during lunch breaks, after class or work, when their kids are napping, at public transport, while travelling between Work and home.
If you’re a writer, you can find the time to write.
The thing is, time just doesn’t come freely. You have to go looking for it.
Time that you spend playing video games, chatting and gossiping with your friends, loitering around after class, or binge watching TV series, or simply going out with friends – is time that writers sometimes claim to write.
It’s all about priorities. Finding the time is more about wanting the time to write, and you have to want it more than anything else in the world.
Novel writing is a discipline-hungry process. It requires a lot of self control and a lot, lot, lot more of sacrifice.
Being a writer, means writing even when you don’t feel like you want to, and writing when you’d rather be elsewhere.
So, if you’re someone who wants to write a book, but you don’t think you have the time, I recommend you take a look at your daily schedule and figure out the things you can afford to sacrifice, and move them around so that you make space for writing.
Sacrifices are habitual for writers.
Even writers with kids, who have school or work, or all of the above – they make several sacrifices. You know why? It’s because they know that if you don’t find time to write when you’re at your busiest, you won’t make time to write when you’re not.
Writing is a commitment.
If you don’t want to commit, well hey – that’s Okay.
But don’t say ‘You don’t have the time’ when you actually mean ‘I cannot commit.’
It offends those who do.
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