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I hear people ask sometimes (new writers, mostly), "How can I possibly find the time to write? I'm dealing with a full-time job, family, friends, a house to clean....I just don't have the time to dedicate to working on my novel! What should I do?" I usually give a typical answer, but I saw something today that really hit this point home for me.
Today, for the first time in an embarrassingly long time, I went to the gym. I'm staying in a hotel (which I had to pay a lot of money for because my brother is getting married in Daytona Beach during Bike Week), so I felt like I wanted to get the full hotel experience - right now I'm even sipping free coffee and using free Internet. Anyway, I read a story on the elliptical, then moved to the floor for crunches and turned on Ellen, where I was able to catch the following interview:
What struck me the most about this interview is the sheer dedication - seven hours a day of exercise, working on his body (for writers, this would equate to writing exercises, outlining, etc.) and practicing on the ice (for writers, of course, this is the actual story writing and revising). But not only was he out there every day, all day, working his butt off, but he was glad to be doing it. You can tell because, not only does he say that nothing makes him happier, but the joy on his face is completely apparent - his eyes are lighting up, he's animated; he's happy to be talking about what he loves.
Lysacek proves in this interview what I always tell people when they ask me where I find the time - if you love something, you make it work. He said he sacrificed everything; parties, nights out, holidays, all of it, in order to reach his goal. Sure, his full-time job was training, but still; he obviously made some other changes, and even thought about his sport when he wasn't on the ice. It influenced every decision he made. He never wanted to get home and feel like he hadn't accomplished anything. He made a schedule for himself and stuck to it. And if there was something else he needed to do (like wash his car on Tuesday), he worked it in around his training (even if all he had was eight minutes).
If you want to write, you'll find a way to make it work. You'll stay up late. You'll wake up early. You'll stop watching TV or rearrange your schedule. You'll let the dishes pile up in the sink. Writers write. It's what we do. If you can't find the time, it's not your schedule that's the problem - you just don't want it bad enough. Lysacek wanted it bad enough, so he changed his life. And now he has a gold medal. I want it bad enough, and I've changed (and continue to change) my life. It's what you do to make it work.
On a side note, I love his bit about watching the birds. Just awesome. You really can get inspiration from anywhere - even if you think it's a dumb idea at first, sometimes all it takes is exploring it from a new angle to see that it could be something truly amazing.
What about you? How have you had to change your life to make time for writing? Or is this something with which you continue to struggle?