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Why should you write even if you have a busy schedule? 

Because you ARE a writer.

My day started like any other day at this time of year. The rainbow lorikeets set the tone, singing like a pub choir in the early hours of the morning; the cat had fallen asleep on my foot and as I moved to get out of bed, she thought she was slipping so sunk a claw in to give her traction… My pyjama pants had rotated around, twisting tightly around my waist and corkscrewing the legs so I had no mobility, which was a challenge as my first imperative was to go to the loo, and there was no toilet paper, something I discovered after I needed it. 

The night before, I had plotted and planned how the day would go because it required military planning.  My daughter was arriving home on the early morning flight at 6am, so I needed to leave at 5.30am to be there to pick her up. Allow 30 minutes to collect baggage, take car out of parking area and then the drive home again. 7.15am gym with a trainer, 7.45am home quickly to shower, first meeting 8.15am – and on the day went, in either 30 or 60 minute increments with meetings and lovely events like a book launch thrown in to the mix. It was not for negotiation that I go to the Post Office, as books went in one direction, some arrived from another. Grocery shop for dinner, get a load of washing into the machine, a load of washing in the machine onto the clothes line, a load of dry clothes on the line into the laundry to refold to go back into bedrooms.

And on it went. 

Normal day.

‘But you are a writer,’ I hear you say. ‘So when do you write?’

Some days I need to ask this of myself! 

When? When can I possibly write when I am so busy! 

There is an awesome visual exercise where the demonstrator puts a bag of rice into a jar, representing the loads of washing, the emails you ‘had’ to read and reply to, the small stuff… Then the person adds some pebbles on top of the rice. These represent the next level tasks, things that you really have to do on the day, like a doctors visit, or service your car. Then the same person adds slightly larger rocks representing the commitments we have in the long term, like a job or work, even extended family and friends. Now for really large stones, adding one for each member of your immediate family.  Picture the jar overflowing, the large stones simply do not fit.

Reverse the priorities – put the large stones in first, add the smaller stones around them, pour in the pebbles and give the jar a shake, and now the rice and watch it trickle between in the gaps. Everything fits.

For my crazy day, my ‘large stone’ – prioritising my writing – could easily fit in. I could choose to get up a tad earlier and relish the silence of the predawn; I could also delegate some of those ‘rice’ tasks.  I actually didn’t do either, but I did take a notebook and having turned off the radio in the car on the way to the airport, I let myself daydream, jotting down notes as I pulled into the curb, knowing I could come back to these key ideas at a later date. I cancelled the coffee meeting and wrote a succinct email instead and voila, there was another 45 minute writing time!

When we talk about ‘not having time’ or ‘having too busy a schedule’ it may actually be a really good opportunity to look at why you can’t make it a priority. Are you in the grip of ‘page fright’, are you worried about the consequences of sharing, it is easier to say, ‘I’ve got the best idea for a book’, rather than work? 

You should write especially because you have a busy schedule! It will keep you sane, it will allow you to retain your sense of creativity, you will ensure you propel yourself in a positive direction as you continue with your passion project!

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