I’m sending this a day late, which is fine. It’s how writing unfolds. Sometimes it goes faster, sometimes it goes slower. And in the long run, it still works.
On Saturday, the day I first wrote it, the first line was, “It’s paradoxical, really.” I was about to hit send, and then a pulled back and said “Huh-uh.” A blog about time that starts out with the words, “It’s paradoxical…” is probably not going to be all that helpful.
What I really want to share is the writing process I used when I was transitioning out of my job into writing full time and running my passion business. It didn’t actually take time because, like many of us, I didn’t have a moment to spare.
It was more a series of internal shifts that then lead to a profound transformation in the way I organized my life and time in general.
When we really take on a manuscript, it’s not just the writing time we set to write that gets it done. We enter a path of discovery, and life gives us clues wherever we go. We start to live the book.
Therefore, it’s not about jailing yourself in a chair, where anxiety rises, and then you procrastinate, or give yourself a hard time for not getting enough done. Instead we’re going to use a process where the writing becomes timeless. You ponder your characters, ideas or concepts effortlessly and that fuels your progress.
We all know that feeling when we’re sitting in a taxi, and characters, ideas or even entire chapters download themselves quickly.
Here are steps to experiment with that don’t require any time.
1. Live the Question
If there’s something you want to expand in your life (like a book) but it just hasn’t happened yet. Ask a question. A question is a welcome mat for new ideas, consciousness and major life transformation. It doesn’t actually take time, it just takes the courage to ask something you don’t know the answer to yet. Start pondering questions that make it fun to get clarity around your story.
That’s the general principal, and I speak about it in detail in the free course. If you’re already on my e-mail list, you can find that link here. Otherwise be sure and receive all three modules on mastering time and the inner critic by signing up.
2. Where Are You Spending Time that You Currently Resent?
Again, this doesn’t take time but thought. Your life blossoms in the places you spend time and attention. Many of us have gotten locked into doing a lot of stuff we don’t want to do. It can be small things like house cleaning, or big things like our whole career.
That’s where I was anyway. I was spending upwards of 10 hours a day in a job that was wearing me down. So, I simply started to map out the hours I was losing (that I eventually resented) and started making adjustments.
For instance if I was doing a mindless task like dishes or correcting multiple choice papers, I’d always put a creative writing course in the background. I actually started to enjoy those tasks because I knew I could use it to develop my dreams.
Once my creative projects picked up more momentum, just by asking questions and learning, I began to organize my days differently.
3. Organizing New Boundaries
As my days began to organize themselves differently, I began to think differently. Before I had been concentrated on solving other people’s problems. But as I came more alive to what I wanted to do, I began to notice nobody wanted the bitchy money I was earning, nobody wanted my bitchy favors I was doing and nobody wanted the bitchy eggs I scrambled if I didn’t want to scramble those eggs.
My happiness wasn’t only important to me, it was important to other people in my life as well, once I started standing up for it.
Now I didn’t begin telling my 4-year-old, “Make your own damn breakfast.” But I reserved time for him, and he began giving me time to myself as well. It was a process. But it didn’t begin with time, it began with timeless internal shifts.
Often the thing hiding behind a lack of time is a limiting belief. It might be one of the following:
· Writing is self-indulgent and it will be embarrassing when my efforts prove futile.
· My role as a mother/father/or professional is away more important than a frivolous dream.
· Once I see the words on paper they won’t meet my expectations, so I’d rather avoid them.
In this case, building momentum before you make time works wonders.
It’s interesting, because as I simply decided to give this weekly blog a little extra time, my son was playing in my studio and knocked open a box of my old journals from 2016. They held the beginning of a book, now out and published. It struck me, as the book developed, the journals I purchased got larger. The first was a tiny magnetic “paperblanks” that fit in my pocket. It had no chapters written in it, just random ideas.
So, it is with time. If you can’t find time to write your book, start without it. Everything begins with just a though inside your mind.