Well, maybe you don’t, but I do.
I don’t think it’s impossible to write when you’re busy. It’s easy to make excuses about why you don’t have time to be a writer. I don’t want to create more obstacles for you. You should write, whether you have space or not.
But if you’re like me, you’re too busy. You’re checking your email too often. You’re committed to too many projects and groups and even people. You need more space.
Three Ways to Prune Your Creative Life
To create space, you need to prune the excess from your life. Philip Roth said:
It’s work. Just endless work. There isn’t time for any bullshit. I just have to work all the time, very hard, and cut everything else out.… I write from about ten till six every day, with a hour out for lunch and the newspaper. In the evenings I usually read. That’s pretty much it.
But how do you create the space? It won’t be easy, but here are three ways to create more space in your life for your writing:
1. Quit Something
“Every single Thursday, I quit something,” says Bob Goff. “We can quit anything on a Thursday. Quit believing the lie that you’
What can you quit?
There are great things in your life, things you’ve committed to, things other people are relying on you for, and these things are impeding your creativity. What can you quit?
Perhaps you can’t quit something right now, but if you want to create new space for your creativity, write your plan to quit. It might take six months, but it will be worth it.
2. Use Self-Control
Confession: I check facebook too much. How about you?
Fortunately, there’s an app for that.
Self-control is a free program for Mac that allows you to block sites you choose—like Facebook, Twitter, and Gmail—for a certain amount of time. For example, if I’m working on my novel and don’t want to be distracted for two hours, I can turn on self-control to block Facebook and Gmail, but I can leave Wikipedia unblocked if I need to do some quick research.
For PC users, check out Freedom.
3. Find Your Writing Workspace
In September, The Magic Violinist said:
J.K. Rowling wrote in coffee shops. E.B. White wrote in his living room. Philip Pullman often wrote in a museum café. All writers have a place that’s theirs to write in, a place that they’ve claimed as their own, even if it’s a public place.
How about you? Have you found your writing workspace, yet?
If you want to create space for your writing, perhaps you need to find a place free from distraction where you can focus on creativity.
If You Want to Be Creative, Prune Your Life
The oldest grape vine in the world grows in Slovenia. It’s over 400 years old, and its grapes are still used to make wine.
However, if you want to grow grapes on an old vine, you have to prune it. Grapes only grow on freshly pruned, green shoots. A vine as old as 400 years can grow new shoots that bear fruit, but only if you cut the tops of the vine from the trunk every year.
In other words, to be creative, to bear fruit, a vine needs the space to grow something fresh, and to create that space, you have to cut out all the excess.
Do you need to prune your life? Do you need to remove the excess so you can grow something fresh?
If you do—and you may not—welcome to the club. I do too. Let’s decide to create that space together.
How do you create space for your writing?
Alright, no more excuses. Write something today. You can work on your work in progress or something new. Just write.
Write for fifteen minutes (or more). To stay accountable, post three or four paragraphs of your practice in the comments section. And if you post, be sure to give feedback to a few practices by other writers.