One of the challenges when it comes to writing is finding time to actually write. If you’re like me, or the rest of society these days, your life is broken down into chunks of time that we sync up to like robots.
Depending on your lifestyle these activities will vary but here’s a list where most of us probably share some crossover. Things like—walk the dog, feed the cats, have breakfast, get your kids to school, surf the web, get to work, surf the web, do your job, eat lunch, surf the web, do your job, surf the web, travel home, make dinner, surf the web, go to the gym, practice yoga, go to school, veg on the couch, watch mindless television. I’m exhausted just going through that list but you get the idea.
Finding your writing voice is a beautiful thing but finding the time to write so you can discover it is a whole different story. You know you have it in you but some bizarre quirk keeps you from making time to do it. To add to that, since you’ll be writing about your travel experiences you’ll need to have them fresh in your mind. But what if the last trip you took was a few months ago? Unless you have an amazing sense of recall, or have kept a trusty journal, this could get tricky.
What excites you about the countries you love? What foods have you tasted in your travels that make you wish you lived there? What intangible bond connects you to a destination so much that you want all your friends, family and customers to experience it?
Let’s make it easy. To find your voice you have to write. To develop your style you need to write. To recount the details and descriptions of a trip, you’ll need to write. Take a look at your day. Where can you fit in writing? This isn’t meant to be a complicated question but I’ll bet there are things that take up space in your day that can easily take a back seat so you can get writing.
Identifying where in your day you’ll commit to writing will be different for everyone. For me, it’s usually first thing in the morning. Right now I’m sitting at my table with a glorious bunch of daffodils in my face, listening to sparrows chirp on my fire escape. Observations and ideas also come to me when I ride the iron worm—aka the NYC Subway system—and I jot them down. Planes and trains are perfect opportunities to gather the details and descriptions you’ve noted along a journey and start playing around with ideas.
Sometimes we need a kick in the pants to get started. If you need that kind of inspiration then check out Do the Work by Steven Pressfield. It’s a short, quick read and Steve’s got a great voice. Reading his stuff is kind of like hanging with a friend but the kind of friend who calls you on your stuff and won’t let you hide behind your wall of resistance. After reading it, finding the time to write might get easier.
Whether you do it at sunrise or sunset, over your morning coffee or sitting in the park eating lunch, identify a particular time to write and do your best to stick with it. Maybe commit to 15 or 30 minutes to start. If you keep an appointment calendar then schedule that portion of time into it. It doesn’t matter when it is so long as you find the time. Like all of the other stuff we do, it’ll become a habit—and a good one.
None of us do things unless we want to – and want is the operative word here. So if you want to write, then it’s time to get busy. Make no excuses and take no prisoners. Punch insecurity in the face and shove your resistance aside.
The information and experiences you possess about your travels is valuable. It’s time to get your writing mojo going. Have fun with it and let me know how you make out.