Don't Have Time To Write?

Don't Have Time To Write? guest post by Ed Lin

I’ll be honest. I look a little askance at people who say they want to write but they just don’t have the time.
Don't Have Time To Write? guest post by Ed Lin
If you feel compelled to write, you can’t really do anything else. Not happily, anyway. Think about all those hours you use to binge on your favorite series. Or scrolling through social media. Or...reading blogs about writing. Um, yeah.
In the salad of my youth, before I even had a novel-length manuscript, I would try to write short stories. Sometimes, about once a month, I would get an idea that was so strong in my mind I wouldn’t be able to sleep until I had written at least a first draft of it.
My point is that it’s not really a question of having enough time to write. If your desire to write is strong enough, you will find the time. Maybe you’ll eat lunch at your desk at your job so that during your deemed lunch hour, you’ll hunker down in a conference room or nearby cafe to write on a legal pad or laptop. Maybe you have a kid who wakes up at 5:30 in the morning and you have to make breakfast, pack a lunch and take her to school. Get up at 4 and do the writing beforehand (have some coffee saved in the fridge). Maybe type away late at night after everyone in the house has gone to bed.
I have done all those things. I still do some of them. There is no wrong way to do things when you want to write.
Oh, I should also add that hand in hand with writing comes reading. Always be reading at least one book. Don’t have time to read? See the above. If you truly love writing, you love reading. You also love going to author events. If a writer you like is visiting a store near you, go to it. You don’t necessarily have to buy her book--only if you want to ask questions one-on-one after the event.
All writers generally want to help aspiring ones, even though sometimes we seem to be not in great moods. Why? Because all along the path to publication, writers who were more established helped us out. Someone responded positively and provided a cheerful blurb. Or somebody helped find an agent or editor.
I have been lucky enough to have experience those things. I still try to help others.
My advice: Find the time, put in the work and get the manuscript done. Then find the people who will lend you a hand.
Don't Have Time To Write? guest post by Ed Lin
Ed Lin, a native New Yorker of Taiwanese and Chinese descent, is the first author to win three Asian American Literary Awards and is an all-around standup kinda guy. His books include Waylaid and This Is a Bust, both published by Kaya Press in 2002 and 2007, respectively. Snakes Can't Run and One Red Bastard, which both continue the story of Robert Chow set in This Is a Bust, were published by Minotaur Books. His latest book, Ghost Month, a Taipei-based mystery, was published by Soho Crime in July 2014. Lin lives in Brooklyn with his wife, actress Cindy Cheung, and son.

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