How do you eat an elephant?
One bite at a time.~Anonymous
At this angle the pachyderm is going to get larger as he comes closer. So much so that you may give up your lifelong dream of riding the largest land mammal on earth. It’s too scary to deal with him all at once, but you really want to climb on board and take the ride of your life. It’s the romp you’ve envisioned for years, riding up high on that majestic African elephant.
He seems tame enough, until he gets up close and personal. That’s when you see the enormity of the situation. It’s a huge undertaking to trust that beast and have faith that you’ll muster up your courage and take that ride. The closer he gets, the more you run various scenarios through your head. What if the animal balks, what if I fall, what if he doesn’t like me?
It’s the same thing with writing. One hundred and one excuses run through our minds when we hit a hard spot in writing our novel.
“I don’t have time to write…my job…my kids…you don’t know my husband/wife…the dog…”
You may have said or thought about all of these and have your own personal favorites. I know I do. And with most excuses, there maybe a kernel of truth underneath the statements. Maybe many kernels-enough to pop yourself some popcorn. Been there, said that.
But before you go looking for a bowl I’d like you to take ten minutes (2 television commercials) to read some great posts on this very topic.
At Courage to Create you’ll find wisdom from the Tao Te Ching: Live your life expecting that every new challenge will be difficult. Or as Ollin, a first time novelist, puts it:
I will stop asking that writing be easy. Instead I will simply ask that the writing get done.
Often we DO have time, we just lack focus. We don’t have a time management problem we have a values conflict.
In her characteristic style, her statement is a mouthful of writing wisdom in a couple of sentences.
Another favorite blogger of mine, Jeff Goins, tweeted an archived post today that lends itself well on the subject of finding time to write. Well, actually it’s about capturing ideas using the free application Evernote, an online note taking tool that Jeff refers to as his ‘external brain.’ To me, it’s like capturing time, putting it in a bottle and releasing it when necessary.
Look, the Evernote’s logo is an elephant. Must be a sign. If you don’t know about this application, just follow Jeff’s simple directions. If you need more information, you can head over to the Evernote website to view and hear how diary farmers, students, small businesses, and memory impaired people (like me) are using the application.
So, three tips on finding time to write the words we want to read.Promise yourself you’ll forego one sitcom or news program a day. Pledge an ‘unplug’ day. That’s right, no Tweets, FB, blogging, or pinning for 24 hours. Use that one to three hours to get your butt in the chair and write.
You can do this. Your reading audience is waiting. It’s time to sit and deliver.
Okay, enough said. Remember, take it one bite at a time. Oh, and please pass the salsa.
What writing pledge will you make for yourself?