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Rearing Your Writing Life When You’re Extremely Busy

Rearing Your Writing Life When You’re Extremely Busy

Writing When BusyIt’s no news – the world has shrunk into a global village where everyone is crazy busy…a lifestyle that’s mostly wholly self-imposed.

As such, many people daily lament of having more than they can accomplish. The mantra is: so many works; so little time.

Writers sadly aren’t immune from this web of struggling to manage an increasingly clumsy 24-hours-a-day-7-days-a-week calendar, and the widening margin of difficulty that accompanies it.

Admit it: time management is one of your headaches. I’m no seer, but so many proofs just make this fact too glaring to be refuted.

A reader’s comment on one of my recent tutorials was:

I am a regular reader of your posts and I have a great passion for writing… I get inspired by your ideas and advices, and I wish to participate in essay competitions… The greatest problem I’m facing is that of time… I had really wanted to participate in your competition as I had even started writing, but due to my being in exam period, I couldn’t make it… I felt so sad when I discovered that the deadline had already passed… Please I would appreciate if you posted something with regards combining the passion of writing with studies…

More recently, when I talked about gathering ideas to write about, another reader cried out:

Thanks for the tips. But what bothers me so much about writing is that it tends to take too much of ones (sic) time. At times, I get bored when writing long essays and most times, I have to abandon it. How can one solve this problem?

That’s the reality. You’re facing this challenge too, aren’t you?

Maybe you’re shy to own up…I’ll confess mine. I should have written this post before now, but I’ve had to cope with too many engagements in the last two weeks than my human ability can accommodate.

Just imagine: curricular works, examinations, tutorials, businesses, loads of extra-curricular works, blogging, volunteering works, etc…all for a man!

I’m writing this now because I finished my exams today, Friday the 7th.

Enough of stories – let’s see how to manage this challenge.

Writing isn’t beans

I’ve said writing needn’t burden you. I mean it. And I reiterate it.

But writing isn’t a bed of roses. Even if it were, roses harbor prickly thorns. Writing isn’t the easiest of arts. If it were, everyone would be a writer. And writers wouldn’t be so important and enviable. (Click here to tweet that)

This realization that writing is for men, not males, will give you the right attitude. So be ready for real challenges if you’d tread the path of writing. Real, sapping challenges: writers’ block, night candles, vigorous research, loneliness, criticisms, etc.

In reality, writing is a demanding exercise. You invest time, creative thinking, energy, and maybe money. If your mind isn’t well prepared, you’ll crash out soon.

See it as part of your studies

I have observed the starting point of this time challenge for most writers, especially undergraduates, is an unnecessary creation of a fictitious dichotomy between their studies and the endeavour of writing. Or if you’re a working class, your not finding time to write may be because you do not see it as an integral part of your business or employment.

For instance, if you offer 7 courses in school and have no time to pursue your writing interests, does that mean if you’re mandated to offer 10 courses, you wouldn’t allot meaningful time to the 3 extra courses?

Sure you’d. So just make your writing passion one, two or more courses as you wish to offer, and share your time between them all.

Make it a passion

You have to love writing to not dump it. Real writers don’t just pen their thoughts to get applauded, celebrated or compensated. As Jeff Goins rightly puts it, they write because they cannot not write.

If they don’t write, they wouldn’t sleep. I have worked too hard in the last two weeks and I read all through last night for my last exam. As I type this, I should be on my bed, but the ideas I’m putting down won’t stop banging my head if I don’t purge them out. That’s the spirit.

Remember the saying: where there’s a will, there’s a way? If you cherish the art, then treat it just like that.

Cultivate a diehard determination

Friends, the best way to stay focused rearing your writing interests is to keep writing. But that’s difficult. And you’d need an overdose of courage and strong will to keep going.

The simple way to go about it is to write regularly: daily, weekly, monthly…just regularly. This blog is updated almost everyday. It isn’t that I’ve a wealth of time. It’s an unrepentant determination not to settle for even a little less than consistency – and God’s overflowing Grace – that keeps me going.

You’re not alone

You think you’re too engrossed with other works and can’t write? You make that a ground why you should put your writing interests in abeyance…till sometime in the future when you’ll be free?

Wrong! Your tight schedule only explains your writing sloth. It fails to justify it. It can’t! Believe me!

The truth is you’ll never be free and stay relevant. Most people you daily read are very busy too.  Or maybe doubly busier than you.

But they keep writing, because in their mind is a burning passion and in their veins are steaming courage.

If they were dogged, you too can. Believe me you’ve got to. So just keep on.

How do you manage your tasks and still find time to write? Share your thoughts with me in the comments.

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-- Dr. Mahfouz A. Adedimeji | Fulbright scholar | Senior Lecturer, Unilorin | newspaper columnist

About Muhammed Abdullahi Tosin

Writer. Difference Maker. Entrepreneur. Author, Your Right To Write & Vertical Writing. Winner, 11 Writing Prizes.


  1. deenscounty says:

    the thing is we are the hindrance of endeavours we think we cannot surmount because we are so engrossed with our daily programmed activities and thus we think we cant do more than what we are doing now . Responsibilities is a natural phenomenon therefore we must understand what we want to do and gradually do it at our own pace.

  2. deenscounty says:

    the thing is we are the hindrance of endeavours we think we cannot surmount because we are so engrossed with our daily programmed activities and thus we think we cant do more than what we are doing now . Responsibilities is a natural phenomenon therefore we must understand what we want to do and gradually do it at our ow
    n pace…

  3. Bravo!

    Beautifully outlined. A motivation for me to pick up my pen and share an article in here. Keep the good works coming boss.

  4. kayrode says:

    Ravishing tips! Notwithstanding, it’s easier said than done..

  5. austine says:

    I have a laptop, and after reading and doing all I need to do. Before I sleep, even if its thirty minuted,I type something or update mu writing everyday. I write consistently like that but do overtime to beat deadline sometimes. I can be difficult,but my ideals on writing and the financial considerations can be a motivating factor. Though I”m in engineering, writing helps me multitask and lend my voice to boiling issues.

  6. Chizi Daniels says:

    Excellent! I concur with most of your views here. I’m an vigorous writer and an author too. I post almost everyday yet I’ve a crowded schedule. Most of us lack discipline! Discipline is the bridge between our goals and their accomplishment. Someone was asking me if I do read as I suggest in my posts, judging from the way I ‘frequent’ facebook? I simply laughed at his ignorance!
    We can help ourselves realise our true potentials if we can add a little pinch of determination, coupled with the spice of zeal and the recipe of effort. We’ll all get there soon…

    • Chizi,

      I like the point of discipline you just raised. The advent of the Internet, as much as it’s a blessing, has made many grossly indisciplined. If your eyes can be kept on the goal and you can pretend as if you see no distractions, you’ll be well poised to better nurture your writing life.

  7. truely lack of time management are the killerr of our burning passion for writting and it open room for other excuses. thanks for sharing with us how you also do this wonder with you tight schedule. May Allah take you more higher.

  8. Emem Bassey says:

    I like the comment you made about not being able to sleep until you purge yourself of an idea. I’m the same that way, some times I write two to three books at once. I dont know if this is a problem, but I find it difficult to write short stories, essays, articles etc, any thoughts on that?

    • Bassey,

      It could be a problem and it might not. Sometimes, you may feel stuck at writing a piece, and have to take a break to shift to another. That allows you to do some work on the other and come back to the previous more energized. That way, it’s a good thing.

      At other times, it could be a lack of focus. You really need to clearly define your goals, assign yourself a deadline for each task and stick to them.

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