Tweet The First Tale. I might even be writing another Friday Flash, or deciding what I'm going to blog about. I might be rewriting my novel, or figuring out what I'm going to say in my next AudioBoo. I don't know about you, but that looks like a fair amount of things to be doing in my 'free' time.
'Not finding the time to write' is a common complaint of writers. Other creatives say they simply cannot find the time to create. "Modern life is so hectic", they say. "I have a full-time job and three kids and an invalid parent to care for," they cry. I can fully sympathise with the full-time job issue. Of the approximate seventeen hours I am aware, I have just four to spend on myself, and everyday errands. That's without a family to take up my time!
There are a myriad of blogs out there that will tell you it's okay to cut down your TV time by 15 minutes, or it's healthy to wake up 15 minutes earlier, or that no one will mind if you skip something else in order to write. You can "give yourself permission" to write. It's a very valid argument, and I agree with it wholeheartedly - there probably is a lot of junk in your day that could be safely jettisoned to make room for your creative pursuits. However, creative people often don't like to do anything creative because it's fun. It doesn't feel like work. It can often feel like an indulgence when there are errands to run or chores to do.
That being said, I'm here to tell you it's also okay to give yourself permission to NOT write. Normally, I've got so many projects on the go and so much that I want to do that I get stressed out if I don't get it all done (which would be impossible anyway, unless I somehow found a way of adding more hours to the day). If I hit a creative block, I panic. The work I want to do becomes work that I need to do and thus it becomes actual work, rather than 'work', if you get what I mean. Once that happens, I don't want to do it any more, and then I become frustrated with myself because I start procrastinating, and stop producing. It doesn't help that all these books and blogs seem to be telling me that I need to be writing almost continuously in order to really be 'a writer'. So now I'm not a real writer because I'm not writing every minute of every hour of every day? Golly, talk about pressure!
Yet it has been a wonderfully relaxing couple of hours after I told myself it was alright not to do any writing (aside from this post) for one single evening. I've made some decent progress on my sock (this is the left one I'm currently working on - eventually it will look like the right sock I've posted a photo of up there) and I've discovered a new TV show that combines my interest in crime dramas with my love of Nathan Fillion and a consideration of the writing process - win! As it happens, various ideas have been ticking over in my brain and now I feel refreshed and rejuvenated - ready to start writing on my way to work tomorrow.
So give it a go. Give yourself permission to have a night off, and see what wonders you can accomplish.