Earlier this week, one of the many e-newsletters I subscribe to popped in my inbox. The article that immediately stood out to me: How to Stop Wishing You Had More Time to Write.
As a full-time copywriter, finding the time and energy to write outside of work has been a constant battle. While I’ve recently set aside Saturday mornings to write or blog, I often complain to my husband, friends and co-workers of how difficult it is to want to sit down at a computer and write after writing all day, and all week, at work.
Even on Saturdays it can be challenging. Weekends are supposed to be a break from — not a return to — work. And whether writing for myself or for someone else, there’s no denying that writing is certainly work.
But reading that article from Copyblogger helped me completely re-frame my situation. In the article, Loryn Thompson, a full-time writer and part-time blogger like me, reminded me that without time away from my computer, I wouldn’t have ideas and inspiration — I wouldn’t have anything interesting or unique to write about!
“Being a great writer is about more than just putting words on the page.”
“The work we do sitting at our desks — pouring out the first draft, revising, optimizing for SEO — is only part of the writing process.”
“The best ideas still can (and frequently do) come to us the old-fashioned way: through experiences and observations.”
Fiction or non-fiction writer, it doesn’t matter. We’re constantly pulling inspiration from the people and places we encounter, and the experiences we have. To keep our writing fresh, we have to keep living and learning.
So next time I feel as though I have no time to write, I’m going to instead think about how the activity I’m doing at that moment can inspire and inform my writing.
The more I think about it, the more I’ve realized that my experience as a full-time copywriter helps my personal writing. It helps me feel inspired to write blog posts like this one. And as a senior living copywriter, I have the opportunity to gain insights into an age demographic I may have never otherwise interacted with, learned from and truly knew.
I’ve stopped trying to force myself to write when I come home from work. Instead, I hop on my bike, hit my favorite Boulder hiking trails or head to CrossFit. Other times, my husband and I try out a new happy hour spot or spend a night in watching movies. It’s those evening activities that keep my sane and allow me to re-charge for another day of writing. And it’s those same activities that inspire my writing (just browse through some of my recent blog topics, and you’ll see).