But I Don't Have the Time to Write
Real talk: You do have time, you don't have the desire.
INT. Party - Night
A drunk guest approaches the writer.
Guest: “Oh, you’re a writer? Have I read anything you’ve written?”
Writer: “Maybe, do you listen to podcasts or—”
Guest: “You know, I’ve always wanted to write. Just don’t have the time.”
The implication here is that all writers live in a paradise-like garden of 72-hour days where the bills get paid by gnomes, the dinner magically appears on the table, the lawn gets mowed by phantom Lawn-Boys, and we all live off the royalties of our words.
Reality check: most fiction writers do NOT live off their writing. They also have other commitments, family, pets, JOBS, that require their time. Yet, every year, these folks squeeze out projects whilst keeping the other commitments from crashing down like so many eggs in a basket.
In 2022, I completed:
100-page screenplay in pre-production.
Four short prose pieces in the submission process.
Two episodes of the Lady Sherlock Holmes audio dramas. (One to be performed live in 2023 at 221BCon in Atlanta, more on that in a separate issue).
Six episodes of The Adventures of Scarlett Hood podcast.
Serialization of the Harry Strange prose reboot for Kindle Vella.
An assortment of outlines and story snippets for work in 2023.
And this all while maintaining a full-time job, a family, and other commitments. What I want to tell these people is that you have the time, but not the desire; you are in love with the idea of being a writer, but not the process of writing.
If you want to write, you’ll find the time.
Try writing just a page a day in whatever medium you feel the calling. One page a day, 300 words. Probably take you only 30 minutes that you can break into 10-minute segments. Everyone gets 3 ten-minute segments a day where they are waiting, pottying, or disengaged.
One page a day will net you:
One novel a year
About 4 screenplays/audio series a year
12 half-hour TV pilots or 6-hour pilots
Will any of these be sellable?
These are the first drafts. No one sells a first draft. Ever. That’s a topic for another day.
But what will you will have is a completed project and, friends, let me tell you, just putting ### at the end of a project is one of the most satisfying feelings you will ever know.
Now, go write something.