Sunday, July 31, 2005

Making Time to Write

Who has time to write? I don't.

This article, by way of the Annals of Family Medicine, looks at the plight of the physician-writer and the lack of time available for writing:
People do not, of course, make time. Time exists, for practical purposes, as a linear flow, and people are swept along in it. Like a fast-moving river, time propels us forward, but sometimes we can swim hard to stay at the edges where the flow is a bit slower. So how do busy people find a way to write as they are swept along? I mean, how do people who are practicing clinicians—doctors, nurses, therapists—people with clinical commitments and sometimes life-and-death interruptions—how do they write?

It goes on to describe 3 strategies one can use to find time to write:
1) Deck clearers (aka procrastinators). They can only write when everything else has been done (which means nothing gets written), or when there is a deadline. This has been my modus operandi for years.
2) Wedgers write whenever they find a little free time. Blogging has moved me to this kind of writing - a little bit here, a little bit there and it starts to add up to something substantial.
3) Schedulers force themselves to write by blocking time off specifically for writing. This is the strategy of those who consider writing to be their profession.

I will strive to become a Scheduler, just as soon as I can clear my deck of the all the things I've been meaning to finish.

Who has time to write? I don't. And yet, I do anyways.