Committing to your writing: use your calendar

I hear my writer friends, many far more talented than I, sometimes kvetch how much they just don’t like writing. They don’t like the process, don’t like the angst, don’t like the time it takes, you name it. Not the case for me—I love writing. I’ve been writing since I could pick up a #2 pencil and typing since age 3 on the antique typewriter my mom had the wisdom to let me use. I express myself far better on paper than with my lips, and more importantly, I have a passion for the written word.

So why in the world do I have such a problem committing to writing? I love everything about my craft. Yet I still manage to put it off, let dishes or phone calls or (fill in the blank here!) come first until I’m simply out of time. I know my best time of day to write is early morning, but I tell myself, “Oh, you can write later, after the kids are asleep,” or “You can do it after you balance the budget or lead that conference call.” And later, out of steam and too exhausted to get creative, the writing gets tabled to the next day. And the next.

No more.

I’ve come up with a great plan to commit to my writing, one modeled after my successful commitment to fitness. I put it on my calendar, just as I would a business meeting or a doctor’s appointment. And when the time comes, I treat it with the respect accorded anything else that goes on my calendar: I do it.

So if my writing time is 7 a.m. on Monday morning, guess what I’m doing? Yep—I’m writing. I’m there at my dining room table, mug of coffee steaming beside me, the windows open and my fingers flying over the laptop keys.

It doesn’t matter if writing is your career or your hobby. If it’s important to you, you owe it the respect you’d give any of your other priorities. Put it on your calendar and knock it out.