Episode 15: Creating Time to Write

Welcome back to Alchemy for Authors!

If you’re anything like me, you might find yourself saying you don’t have time to write, or you’re too busy.

In this episode I challenge whether that’s really true. What if our lack of time was actually a way to protect ourselves from writing? I share ways we can find more time for writing, how to set ourselves up to succeed even when time is tight, and how to shift our mindset to create more time in our life.  

So, if you’re feeling frustrated by a lack of time, this is the episode for you!

Resources mentioned in this episode:

The Podcast Creator Course – Created by John Chao. Find out more at: https://www.thejohncollective.com/course

The Work – By Byron Katie. Find out more at: https://thework.com/

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Find the full transcript of this episode below.

Episode 15: Creating Time to Write

Hello, my lovelies. Welcome back to another episode of Alchemy for Authors.

So one of the reasons that I created this podcast was to put together the pep talks and author interviews that I would have loved to have heard at the beginning of my own author journey. And of course, it was also to marry together the practical aspects of having a writing business with mindset and manifestation as well. So today’s episode is really an ongoing pep talk to myself about the concept of time. Like many of you, the story that I’m constantly going back to telling myself over and over again is that I have no time, I’m too busy, and because of that, my writing and my author business suffers. So today I want to deconstruct that a little. I want us to really think about whether that’s true or not and what lack of time is protecting us from. I also want to talk about where we can find extra time for when our schedules really are packed, and how we can shift our mindset to create more time.

Before I do that, though, I just want to do a bit of a plug for my friend John Chao, host of the Perspective Maintenance Podcast, which is all about getting unstuck so you can be the best version of yourself. Now, if you haven’t checked this podcast out yet, I highly encourage you to do so. If you’ve been listening to Alchemy for Authors for a while and follow me on this podcasting journey, then you know that along with writing my books, podcasting has changed my life. It has presented me with opportunities I’d only previously dreamt about, allow me to chat and learn from the most amazing people. And it’s given me a forum for helping and encouraging other people on a similar writing journey to myself. So maybe you’ve been listening to this podcast and wondered what it would be like to host your own podcast but don’t even know where to begin. And so this is where John comes in. John is launching the Podcast Creator Course, and in this course, you’ll learn all aspects of podcasting with a detailed step by step process to build the skill sets that you’ll need to create a professional podcast. Now, these personalized lessons will be live and interactive, providing mentorship and tech support to set you up for success. John really does know his stuff, so this course starts on June 20, and you can learn more about it by going to thejohncollective.com/course. And I’ll also make sure to link that in the show notes. If you do sign up, please make sure that you mentioned that you heard about this on Alchemy for Authors, too.

Okay, so now let’s get back to that rather controversial concept of time. First, though, go grab yourself a drink, find a comfy chair, sit back, and then enjoy the show.

Okay, so like I mentioned in the beginning of this, time is one of my ongoing Achilles heels. It’s the thing that I probably complain about the most in my life, and I feel holds me back the most. Now, I say I feel it holds me back the most, knowing that time isn’t actually the issue. There are so many people out there in the world that will eagerly say yes, but we all have the same 24 hours and look what that person is achieving. And that is true to some extent, but we also have very different things going on in our lives that take up different levels of our energy and our time. And that’s just the way it is. Some of us are trying to fit in our writing around families and young kids, which brings its own constraints on time. Others of us, like myself, I don’t have children, but I do have a full-time job that is full-time and then some. It runs quite often late into the evening and often into the weekends as well. On top of that, I have a husband. I still have family. I have cats. They still require attention and vet visits and all the rest of it. And I still have a house to look after, a yard to look after, and all these other responsibilities that really take pieces of me as well.

So we all come to this idea of time with our own baggage, too. And it might be that you grew up hearing people say there’s not enough time. I’m always busy. I’m too busy for this. I can’t fit this in, and that somehow cemented itself into your own psyche and is something that you carry with you. I am the worst for this. I am constantly saying I’m too busy, I’m too busy. I’m overwhelmed. I don’t have enough time. I can’t do this. I can’t do that. And what I find with that is that it often leads to burnout. I often end up feeling so overwhelmed believing that that’s the reality of my situation, that sometimes it can even create a sort of paralysis from me actually doing the things that I need to and want to do because of that overwhelmingness created by believing that I am so busy and I can’t fit things in. It is probably my number one complaint about not being able to write is that I feel like I don’t have time to do it. And I feel like I need big chunks of time, and everybody is different. And I know that for myself, I do tend to work better when I do have a chunk of time. As I mentioned in the last episode, I do have ADHD. And so sometimes it can take me a little bit to get my focus on sitting down and writing. And I know that I work best when there is rewards or some kind of novelty encouraging me to get my words on the page. But we all go about this differently. And the truth of the matter is that we’re not always given the opportunity to have big chunks of time to dedicate to our writing. And so that’s where we need to change our mindset and start to get comfortable with seizing moments where we can.

It’s one of the things that I see in the author community, too, that is probably complained about the most. It’s probably the thing that I hear a lot of writers, a lot of authors say is the hardest part of writing is actually finding the time to fit it into the schedule. Now, it might be that it’s easier if you’re already a full-time writer because your life is already built up to include that. That’s a huge aspect. But if you are like myself or like many of us and you’re trying to fit writing in around a full-time job or around looking after your children or family or any other big responsibility like that, it can feel sometimes that we don’t have the time, the energy, the mental space, even to really give what we want to give to our writing practice. So I want to deconstruct a little bit this idea of not having time.

And there’s some things that you’ve probably heard a lot, and I’ve heard a lot, and sometimes they resonate with me. And other times I’m like, no, that’s absolute crap. One of them is that we always make time for the things that are important to us. And right away, even sometimes when I hear that, I feel my own kind of hackles going up a little bit like, no, that’s just not true. I love writing. I would much rather spend time writing than doing this admin work for the day job or having to tidy the house and do laundry. And it’s true. I would much rather spend the time writing. I know that writing fills me up much better than doing the laundry does, for example. But it is also true that we do make time for the things that are important. And what I mean by that is that oftentimes feeling like we don’t have time as a form of resistance, it’s a form of fear that’s actually protecting us from getting to our writing. So in that moment when you choose to do the laundry and tidy your house, instead of sitting down at your computer and doing the work of getting the words on the page, you have chosen that those household chores in there are more important. And I know I’m going to get a lot of flak for this, and there’s going to be a lot of people arguing, yes, but it is. And I’m going to have people coming around and I can’t live in a pig style. And this person is depending upon me having a tidy house, and all these other excuses. But they are just really excuses. If we are choosing to put writing lower on the ladder of priorities, there is a reason for that, and it doesn’t matter how much you love writing and how much you want to be a writer. If we’re putting that lower on that ladder of priorities, there is a reason, oftentimes it’s wrapped up in resistance and fear.

So I think that’s really the first thing that we need to do is we need to deconstruct, why are we not allowing ourselves the time to do the thing that we love? And this might be a really good journaling exercise for you to do. Write that question, why am I not allowing myself to write? And word it like that, because I think at the end of the day, we really do have to be accountable for the decisions that we make. We always have choices in life and those choices have outcomes, and the choices that we make are usually based on the outcome at the end. So maybe it is that you’ve actually got a deep-seated fear that your writing is going to be absolute shit. I mean, that’s a huge fear for a lot of us.

We’ve talked lots in this podcast about imposter syndrome and particularly the fear when we’re starting out and starting a new project. And so maybe that’s actually the thing that’s holding us back from getting started and not time. Maybe we’re filling our time to make it feel like we don’t have time because we’re scared of getting started and there can be lots of things wrapped up in that fear. It could be fear of failure. It could just as easily be fear of success. What if I wrote this book and it was actually really amazing and it sold really well and became a best-seller and lots of people bought it and then they expected me to write more books and same quality? And what if I couldn’t do it? Or what if I did? But it took more and more time and I became more and more successful? And then what would happen to other aspects of my life? Am I willing to let them go for my own success?

There is always a payoff. Whenever we make an excuse for something, there’s a payoff. Whenever we decide to do the thing that we’d rather not do, there is always a payoff for it. For many years, I stuck in a job that I was really not fond of and wasn’t healthy for me at all. But there were payoffs. One of the payoffs was that I actually had more time to focus on my writing because there was no opportunities to grow in that job, no extra responsibilities given my way. I could go in, I could do the bare minimum that I needed to, and it meant that I had a lot of evenings and weekends free to really focus on my writing. That was a huge payoff. I had to deal with a lot of crap while I was at the job, but I weighed it up against how much I wanted to be able to write as well. And so I stayed there for quite a while. Maybe you feel that you have got to cook meals for your family every evening, and that’s because you want to be known as that parent who has it all together, who’s doing the best for their family, who’s nurturing and looking after their family. Because you’re doing that in the evenings, you’re losing some time for your writing. So you’ve made a conscious decision there about how you want to be seen and what you want to be doing in that moment. It’s more important for you to be seen as that person who is cooking all those meals, providing for your family more so than you want to be seen as a person who delegates some of that cooking and sits down to do some writing. So we do spend time on the things that we care about, and we do find ways to avoid the things that scare us. And writing can be very scary. And everything we write, we put a little piece of ourselves out there in the world. And by doing that, we open ourselves up to judgment from others. We open ourselves up to failure, we open ourselves up to success. Each of those can be equally terrifying in its own way.

First thing you need to do is you really need to get clear on what your lack of time is protecting you from. Then I highly recommend that you break down those answers using a technique called The Work developed Byron Katie, which is questioning: Is this true? So it might be that I don’t have the time to write because I’m juggling a family with a full-time job. So ask yourself, is that true? Is there absolutely no time in your day that you could spend writing and you might find that you argue back with yourself on the page. Well, of course there’s absolutely no time because when I get home from work and then I’ve got to feed the family and I spend some time with them, and then I’m absolutely tired and I’ve got to go to bed. Is that true? Could you get up a little bit earlier? Could you stay up a little bit longer? Could you fit in a little bit of writing during the lunch break at work? Could you do some dictation on your commute? Could you jot down some ideas while you’re at a sports event for your children? Is it absolutely true that you have no time in your day that you could spend on writing? Now, if you like me, you might argue back with yes, but I need a huge chunk of time because I just can’t write in those little moments. And this is something that I do quite often, and I really do have to call BS on it. We can always be working on our writing and finding little moments of time that can help us move our story forward, even if it’s just brainstorming a plot idea, carrying a writer’s notebook around with us all the time, and jotting down pieces of conversation we overhear, or little snippets of description of something that we see that could later be used in our stories. For me, sometimes it’s jotting down names of songs that I overhear, if I’m out and about, shopping or on my commute or something that I’m like, wow, that song really speaks to the energy of my story, and so I want to add it to a playlist that I have that keeps me motivated in the energy of my story.

Now how can we find those extra moments of time? There are so many articles out there, there are so many courses out there. It is probably one of the number one question that most writers ask. How can I find more time? And I’m going to let you know some of them, many of which you’ve probably already heard and not all of them are going to work for you, but hopefully there’s something there that will resonate that you’ll be able to adapt and adopt for yourself.

So as far as finding more time, you do have the options of getting up just a little bit earlier before your family awake or staying up just a little bit later. The idea for me of getting up earlier is absolutely hideous. As it is, I quite often get up at 4:30 in the morning to go to the gym. I don’t want to be getting up any earlier than that. I’m not a morning person, and the reason I go to the gym so early is because it’s the only way I can tend to fit it into my day before my busy day job begins. And knowing myself well enough to know that when I come back from the day job, when I arrive home from the day job, the last thing I’m going to want to do is to work out. I’m usually absolutely crashing at that time. I have enough energy to cook dinner. If it’s my turn to cook, I start to unwind and then that’s actually where my magic hour kicks in. So I’m more of an evening person and so that’s really the best time for me to be writing. And so I tend to save my writing for the evening. Even if I’m really tired, I know that I’ll usually get a second wind and so scheduling in that time after dinner to go to my office and to sit down and to do some writing is really golden for me. Still working on my follow through because I don’t always follow through with that. Sometimes I am just like the rest of you and I will make that choice of but I still have a little bit more work to do from the day job and so that’s going to take priority. Now it’s just knowing that that is a choice that I make. It is also knowing that that is how my resistance to my story and my writing and my imposter syndrome tends to show up. So this is something that I have to personally work on consistently every single day. And you might find that you have to, too. You need to find a way to really make that commitment to yourself and follow through with that commitment. And it might mean that you need to physically schedule it into your planner or your diary or have an alarm go off on your phone to remind you that this is your writing time. Nothing else interferes with this.

It’s also changing your mindset around using those little bits of time that we’re all given. It might be on your commute, you have a notebook and you’re jotting down ideas or have your laptop with you. It might be that maybe you have to drive. And so potentially you could dictate some of your writing when you’re stopped in traffic or stopped at the lights. One thing that I used to do is I’ve mentioned this a lot, but I always have a playlist kind of created for my work in progress. And so quite often on a commute when I was driving and it was out in the countryside, so there wasn’t any lights or anything. I would have that playlist playing in the background so that I could get into the energy and the spirit of my story. And as I was driving, I tended to think over the characters and the scenes that I was going to be writing and really get a good sense and feel of the story so that it did make it easier to write when I finally got to the page in my mind, that also counts as writing for me. A lot of my writing is really just done mentally in my head. If you’ve got lots of appointments that you have to attend, doctors appointments, dentist appointments, kids sports events, maybe you can use some of that time to jot down ideas. Be that observer, be that person listening into other people’s conversations, steal those ideas, those snippets of dialogue, write them down, jot them down, put them in your notes, app on your phone, whatever you need to do so that you can bring them into your story potentially later. Or maybe that’s going to be where you get some story ideas from. Because as a writer, it can be so easy for us to lock ourselves in our room and think that this is our life when really we need to make sure that we are involved in the outside world, because that is where we are going to get our inspiration. That’s where we’re going to fill our well, that’s where we’re going to get our ideas from. So we need to make sure that we’re also observing the things going on in the real world as well.

You might also want to get creative about buying yourself pieces of time. And I don’t mean necessarily spending money. But what kind of things can you trade off? Can you give up a responsibility in some aspect of your life? So where can you buy yourself some time? Is there something that you do that you can delegate to somebody else? Is there a position you can actually give up? Maybe you’re a coach for a local sports team, and maybe you just need to prioritize whether that is actually the best use of your time or your energy. And the truth of it is, if you want to be a successful author, a successful writer, or successful anything, you do need to make some sacrifices. You do need to decide what is more important to you. It might also be that you make other trade offs. Like maybe you do something for your significant other and then they’re in charge of cooking all the meals for a week when you’ve got a deadline looming. Or maybe you’re in a situation where you can afford to go, take a weekend away, lock yourself up in a hotel or something somewhere and just spend it writing for a weekend. Where can you find that extra time?

So it all really comes back to your writing ‘Why?’ Which was something that I talked about in one of the very first episodes of Alchemy for Authors, you need to get really clear on your why you want to write, why you want a writing career or life built around your writing. What is it that is pushing you to do this thing? Is your ‘Why’ strong enough? Because if it isn’t, then you are going to bow down to lots of excuses, lots of resistance, lots of avoidance. So maybe you need to re-evaluate your why. Is this something that you really want to put your energies into? Or is it just too hard? Maybe you actually need a break from writing. Maybe you need to step away. Maybe this isn’t where you’re supposed to be putting your energy right now. Or maybe it is and you’re just caught up in all those usual things like avoidance, resistance, procrastination, and fear. So go back. Re-evaluate your why. Why this is important to you?

Call yourself a writer. Call yourself an author and ask yourself, what would a prolific, successful, six figure author do right now? Or seven figure author or whatever, whatever your dream concept of being an author is for you, what would they do right now? What would they choose? Where would they say no in their life? Where would they say yes in their life? Where would they prioritize their writing first? What would they let go of? What would they be willing to sacrifice? A little less time on social media? A little less time watching TV? A few more takeout meals a week? If writing is important to you, like really important to you, somehow, some way you will find the time. And there are so many stories out there, you can look up any of your favorite authors and that go back to how they first started. And many of them, most of them in fact, had to do the hard work with full-time jobs, with families, with sometimes very little family support or friendships or anything to kind of bouy them up in their writing career as they were beginning it. And if they can do it, you can do it too. Just get really clear on your ‘Why’.

So here are some other things that can really help you. Not just find time, but make the most of the time you have to write. Set up a space to write. It doesn’t have to be a big space, it doesn’t have to be a big fancy office. I do recommend though, that it’d be tidy and organized so that when you are ready to sit down and do some writing you’re not going to feel overwhelmed by the clutter around you. It’s not going to side-track you. A clean space really does help the mind focus.

If you can set up a routine and this might be a bit trickier for some of you than others, particularly if there is a little routine in your life and maybe your other obligations and responsibilities do tend to be all over the place a little bit. But try and schedule your writing time and set up a routine that maybe you’re going to sit down at your computer, at your desk, at your dining room table, at the cafe, wherever, from this time to this time, every day or Monday to Friday. Or you’re going to set the goal that you have to find a way to write 500 words every day. Every little bit counts and don’t be put off by that. You don’t have to write 5000 words a day. Very few of us can do that. You don’t even have to write 1000 words a day. Anything. Getting anything down on paper. Getting any words down counts and helps build a book. A book is written word by word, sentence by sentence.

So once you’ve scheduled that though, get yourself also a little bit of a writing routine as well. Something that’s going to flip the switch in your brain to say that you’re serious about getting down to work. And I’ve had a lot of different authors talk about different ways that they do this. It might be that just setting yourself down in your writing space isn’t enough to make that mental shift into the writing mind. Or it might be that you have to do a little bit of writing ritual, like you have to have your cup of coffee and your favorite mug ready to go beside you, or you have to have a certain candle going or a scent in the room. Aromatherapy is actually one of those things that I hear a lot of people say works wonders just for getting them into that writing mind. Maybe it’s that you need to do a little bit of journaling or stream of conscious writing for a couple of minutes first. But whatever it is, find what works for you. And it might be a little bit of trial of error just so that it can switch your brain into writing mode versus running around like a headless chicken doing everything else mode. And it helps if you’ve got a little bit of an outline or you know what you’re going to be writing. And I’m not asking for pushback here from all the Pantser and Discovery writers, because for myself, I’m quite a bit of a Discovery writer. I usually have a general sense of who at least my protagonist is going to be, and maybe a sense of the ending of my story. Everything else tends to fill in as I’m writing, but it does help. And I’ve heard people say this over and over again, whether it’s just a real barebones idea of an outline of where you’re heading with your writing, or even chapter by chapter, you’ve got a little bit of an idea of what the scene or the chapter is going to be for that day. Or if you’ve got just a really full outline, either one of those things is going to keep you on track and actually help you write faster because you know where you’re going.

Something that I tend to do when I am writing is I don’t hold myself back when I can’t think of the word at the time, or I’m a little forgetful about certain details. So if I’m writing and I’m like, oh, there’s a better word for that, I can’t think of what it is right now. I’ll literally just write the word something in brackets or highlight a section as a reminder for me to go back and recheck in the editing stage. But when it comes to first draft, I’m all about just getting the words on the paper and it doesn’t have to make sense. I also try to stop my writing, like leave my writing for the day and a bit of a cliff-hanger so that at least I know where I’m headed the next day. And I’m excited to get back to the page.

Last week I chatted with the wonderful Monica Hay and she was talking about keeping that excitement for your writing in one way that works for her is that she’ll sit down and she will journal about why she’s excited to write the chapter that she’s about to write. And there is something to be said about keeping excited about your piece of writing. You need to keep your story in the forefront of your mind. You need to keep that fire burning for it, because it’s too easy to lose that momentum. And there are lots of ways that we can lose that momentum. If we’re not writing every day, even just a little bit every day, we’re actually costing ourselves some time. Because when we do sit back down to pick up the story again quite often we find ourselves having to reread what we wrote previously because it’s not so fresh in our mind. So we need to keep that story bubbling under the surface all the time. And whether we use a playlist in the background when we’re doing other things during the day to remind us of the story and keep us in that feeling of our story, that might be something that helps. Or like I said, just making sure that we’re trying to get to the page, trying to get to our story every day.

One way to create more time for yourself with your writing is really to have a love affair with what you’re writing. When you’re excited about something, you find time. You make time. You create time out of thin air. Think about it. When you’re beginning a new relationship and you got that buzzy feeling inside and you’re all giddy and you’re excited and there’s all those conflicting of emotions. There might be a little bit of anxiety, but you just are so excited to spend time with that person that you’ll change up your schedule. You’ll find ways to spend time with that person even when you’ve got so much going on. It’s because it’s that bigger priority. It’s got all those feel-good emotions to it that it’s amazing what you can do and how you can shuffle time when you’re really excited for something. And that’s where you need to be with your writing. You need to treat it like it’s a love affair, treat it like it’s in a fear, if that’s what gets you excited. And I’m not recommending cheating on your other half or anything like that. But find those secret moments of time. You don’t have to tell people what you’re doing when you skip out early or you’re acting all secretive to spend time on this book that you’re writing. But if that’s what kind of creates that excited creative juice for you, then do that. Use whatever tools you can to create time.

And we all know that doing things that we love, doing things that we’re excited about, spending time with, the things that light us up, we find ways to find time. If you’re not doing that right now, maybe it’s because what you’re writing is not lighting you up. And I’ve had that just recently where I was really struggling to find time. And I keep saying that over and over again. And of course, the more I said it, with the Law of Attraction and Manifestation and I know it, I had so much negative stuff talk about not having enough time and being so busy that of course more and more things kept getting piled onto my plate to the point where it felt like I was really just burning out mentally and physically. I decided to pivot and just park the work in progress that I had going. Because as much as I love it, it just wasn’t enough to push through all these extra obligations that felt like we’ve been piled on me. And I’m going back to more of a passion project of what I’m writing now that’s got me really excited, really hyped, and much less pressure on me. And now I can’t wait to get to the page and I can find time because I’m just that excited. It is like beginning a new relationship, a new love affair. That’s what it’s like. So maybe you need to rethink what you’re actually putting your energies into when it comes to your writing. Maybe you need to park something and pivot and try something else for the moment. Doesn’t mean you can’t go back to your other work in progress. I’m definitely planning on doing so, just not right now. Right now, because I feel like I’ve got a lot going on. I want to focus on the fun, the easy, the little passion projects that really bring me joy because it’s so much easier to find ways to fit into your life.

And again, that kind of goes back to time is really a constraint that we create. Right? Because we always do find time for the things that really get our juices going. If you’ve got kids and you get a phone call from their school that they’ve been in an accident or something’s happened, you’re not going to care right then how much is on your plate. You’re going to leave. Whatever you’re doing, you’re going to get there immediately, as soon as you absolutely possibly can. You’re not going to say, oh, I’m just too busy right now. I can’t come get them. That’s because right there in that moment, getting to your child is the most important thing. So if you’re struggling with having time to write, you need to find a way to make it a bigger priority. Make it something that you really do care about, get really clear on your ‘Why’ and move it up that ladder of priorities for yourself. Again, what would a successful, prolific author do? What choice would they make? What would they get rid of from their life? What would they say no to? What would they sacrifice? Where would they spend their energy and their time?

So get comfortable with saying no. I’m one of the worst people for this because I go through these episodes of wanting to say yes to everything because I think I’m I don’t know when a woman and I can do everything and then give me a couple of days and I realize I’m an idiot and I can’t do everything. And it’s so much harder to say no after the fact, after you’ve already taken something new on. And I do that often, to be honest. It’s something that I’m still working on. So find a way to get comfortable with saying no. Or before you make a decision to say yes on anything, just ask for some time to really think about it. And think about what saying yes would cost to your writing, to your goals.

So I was talking before about finding time to write every day, and I just want to kind of go back to that, that you don’t need to be writing for big chunks every day. You don’t need to be hitting word counts every day. Be kind to yourself. Some days it might be that you can only write for 10 minutes and that’s okay because you’re still doing it. Count that as a success. Celebrate that as a success. Some days you might be able to write a thousand words. Other days, maybe it’s just 200. That’s okay too. So really be kind to yourself.

And this goes into your self-talk and your mindset, which is really the make or break for everything that we do as authors, as writers. Watch what you say about time. And I’ve mentioned this before. I’m my own worst enemy with this. This is something that I’m constantly working on. And this episode is really the pep talk that I need to have with myself right now. Watch what you say. I find myself all the time saying things like, oh, I’m always late. Oh my gosh, I’m late. I don’t have any time. I’ve got too much to do. I’m feeling so overwhelmed. I’m always busy. Sorry, I can’t do this. I’m too busy at the moment. I’m always talking about time and the lack thereof. And in the world of manifestation, which I quite often talk about on this podcast, the universe always echoes that back to us. Our experience always echoes it back to us. And I find that all the time because I talked about how busy I am and how much I have to do. And then, Lo and behold, more things get piled on top. And I’ve been having a real difficulty with that lately because it feels like that’s the dialogue that’s going through my brain all the time. And then every time I leave a conversation with somebody, I’ve got several more things added to my to-do list that has nothing to do with writing now.

I’ve been working in the world of the woo-woo for forever, and so I really at the core, I know this stuff, but it doesn’t mean I’m always actively participating in it properly, but I know that our thoughts create our reality. We attract to ourselves what we’re putting out there. Because I’m always complaining about not having enough time. The universe is like, sure, we’ll give you not enough time here. I have several more things added onto your to do list right now.

So what I’m doing and what I encourage you guys to do is we need to really work on changing our vibe around that, changing ourselves. Talk about that. Creating a new way about speaking about time, finding a way to feel abundant about time. Because that’s really what it is. We want to feel like we’ve got more time. We want to feel an abundance of time. Like it’s easy to get to the page, like it’s easy to fit in our writing. In fact, we don’t even need to fit it in. There’s just plenty of time for it. And as simple as it sounds, one of the ways that we can do that is by embracing some affirmations that really sink to that. And so affirmations, that positive self-talk, those kind of mantras that we have going over in our minds and the hopes that it’s actually going to change our attitude and our feelings and our energy towards something. Now, even science supports that over time, this is exactly what happens. The neuroplasticity in our brain shows its ability to adapt and to change when we do things over and over and over again. What is the reality and what is our imagination so closely enmeshed that they often become confused? So if in our imagination, we feel that we don’t have enough time, then reality proves that to us, it shows us that. Yeah, that’s true. Look, I mean, you’ve got this thing and this thing and this thing going on right now.

It’s just like if you’ve ever had an anxiety attack or a panic attack, the thing that we usually fearful of, if we’re in a different state of mind, would not be so traumatizing as we feel it is at that very moment. But we get so stuck in the imagination of that worst case scenario that it makes it feel like it’s actually a reality, that that thing is happening, that that thing is creating that fight, flight, freeze response in us. But we can change the way that we think about things, the way that we feel about things, and therefore the things that we attract into our life. Our brains change and adapt all the time. Repetition is part of it, though. So what we focus on grows.

So to help shift your mindset, you need to really indulge in lots of positive statements about that thing that you’re trying to create. So in this instance, it’s going to be time. You need to work on reprogramming your belief because your life is a reflection of your beliefs. And so that’s what we’re working on, changing our belief system. So when we’re working with affirmations, we need to set it in the present, we need to set it in the positive. And it helps to sometimes if we say it out loud or if we say it while we’re looking at in the mirror or at ourselves, it really seems to help and view it in our bodies. And we need to add feeling to what we’re saying. Don’t just rote say affirmations, add feeling. Believe it for that moment. Really invest yourself into what you’re saying. Think about how you want to feel, and then adapt those into affirmations. You might want to say some things like, I have plenty of time. I feel really refreshed. I feel like this book is really easy to write because I just have so much time and the ideas are flowing. Time is always on my side. My success is inevitable. I have all the time I need. I easily find the time to write this book. So choose affirmations that feel good and will make you feel better. Even just feeling a little bit better is a win. Believe in them. Like really believe in them. Because time really is just a human construct. You might want to adapt some affirmations. Like, I can relax and enjoy the task at hand because I have all the time I need. I have an abundance of time. My schedule is free, open, and flexible.

So, Abraham, if you follow the Law of Attraction and you know Esther Hicks, Abraham, is this like, channeled entity or entities that comes through with a lot of information around the Law of Attraction and Manifestation. And they say that you don’t need more time, you need more alignment. And so changing your belief systems and your energy around the concept of time is bringing yourself into alignment with what is a reality for yourself. And I know this sounds a little bit woo-woo, but it really does work because so much of what we tell ourselves about not having enough time is really just beliefs that we’ve created for ourselves. Of course we have enough time. We can always find time. Sometimes we’re going to make some hard choices around that. Sometimes we’re going to have to make some sacrifices. But if something is important to you, you’ll willingly do that. You’ll find a way to do that.

And it really does come down to shifting your mindset around the concept of time. Get clear on why you believe you don’t have enough time and why you’re creating a reality that doesn’t have enough time to get those words written. What are you scared of? What are you trying to protect yourself from? Because first and foremost, that’s where some work needs to be done. That’s where you’ve got some blocks and then work on shifting your mindset to allow for more time in your life, reprogram your beliefs to reflect the life that you want to be living. Now, like I said before, I know there’s a million articles written about finding time as a writer and all these little things you can do. And so this has really just been a little bit of a tip of the iceberg kind of thing, of what’s available to you, some ideas and tips and tricks. But I hope at least that it has given you an idea of your own power to actually create the life that you want to live, to create the writing life that you want to live. It is in our power. And yeah, it might be nice and you might feel this way that it would be so nice if I didn’t have these extra responsibilities or if I didn’t have the day job and could dedicate my whole time to writing. But remember, that’s not always the case because you’ll find that many people who do have writing as their primary income and maybe as their one job don’t tend to spend all day writing. And in fact, they might be the first to tell you how busy they are because they filled their time with other things as well. So time is something that we have the power to create for ourselves. We don’t need to add more hours to the day, we just need to search for them, find them, protect them as our writing time.

Some of today’s takeaways:

  1. We always make time for the things that are important to us. So if we’re finding it hard to find or make time for our writing, consider whether it’s a form of resistance or fear showing up.
  2. There is always a payoff for not having enough time. So what is your lack of time protecting you from?
  3. Writing can be done in the small moments during your lunch breaks, your commute, or when you’re waiting for appointments. Every word counts.
  4. Consider getting up earlier or staying up later to get some writing time in.
  5. How else can you find time? Can you barter for time? Can you give up extra responsibilities or take writing retreats?
  6. If finding time to write is a struggle, reevaluate your writing. Why?
  7. Ask yourself consistently, what would a successful, prolific writer do in this situation? What would they say yes to? What would they say no to?
  8. Set up a writing space, a writing time and consider having a writing ritual to get you into the right frame of mind to write.
  9. Have an outline, whether it’s a full or skeleton outline, so that when you sit down to write, you’re not wasting time thinking about what to write, and leave your writing on a cliff-hanger so you can keep the momentum in your writing going the next day.
  10. Keep the excitement for your work in progress alive. Have a love affair with your story, and if your writing isn’t getting you excited, maybe you need to pivot or refocus your attentions on another project.
  11. Watch what you say about time and the lack thereof. Our experience always echoes back to us the things that we say and the things that we believe.
  12. Use affirmations to change your perspective on time and to change your energy around time. So make sure you set your affirmations in the present and in the positive, and put feeling into what you’re saying.

So I hope today’s episode has helped you in some way reclaim your power over time and made you think differently about your relationship with time. And if you enjoyed today’s episode, I’d be truly grateful if you would rate, review or share this episode with a friend. And if you’d like more tips and tricks to manifest your dream writing life or author career, make sure you subscribe to my newsletter at www.subscribepage/manifestationforauthors.

Alright, until next time… happy writing!