It’s just the bottom line.  If you’re going to write (or make music, or dance, or paint or whatever your art) you have to make the time to do it.  (This post would’ve been up sooner if I had done that.)

So many well-meaning people say, “I don’t have time to write.”  Oh, they want to all right, very much.  But they never seem to find the time.  If you hope time will fall into your lap, you’re not likely to get much writing done.

There are those who say they need a good chunk of time in order to do their art.  I understand that.  Sometimes it’s hard to sink in if you only have 15 minutes.  But that’s all the more reason to find the time you need and schedule it.  If you continue to wait for a chunk of time to appear, you’re likely to find yourself with very few words on the page.

It just won’t happen unless you schedule the time.  Block out whatever time you need. And stick to it.  Okay, other things may crop up keeping you from doing it then. Just reschedule the time, like you would any important meeting or date.

There is a tactic many use to wait until they’re “in the mood.”  But that’s just another excuse.  You come to the assigned time and you put pen to paper, fingers to keys.  That’s how you write.  It can’t always be with inspiration flowing through your body, full of excitement and verve, eagerness in your fingers. You have to allow yourself to write “shitty” first drafts, as Anne Lamott suggests.  Someone once said, (probably Anne, herself) that you can’t create something good without getting something out in the first place.  If you truly are a writer (painter/musician/dancer/etc) you know  you have to just do it, no matter what. Nothing breeds writing like writing. Nothing gets you “in the mood” quite like doing it.

Time might be a good excuse, as there can be pressing matters which must be attended to, first.  But moodiness cannot be your excuse. Be careful, too, with those voices which say that doing the laundry, washing the dishes, or even being a good Samaritan, is more important than your art.  Sometimes, it is.  But very often it is a really convenient excuse.

If you truly do wish to create art, write something, get some writing done. In order to do that you must follow this formula:  Make the time.  Show up.  And do it. Simple.