Making time for what you want

I’ve been wanting to write more for years. Literally, years.

Throughout my life, I’ve had multiple ebbs and flows of my persistence in regular writing. There have been years where I wrote nearly daily, a period where I wrote a first draft of a book, and years where I didn’t write at all. In recent years my writing has been more sporadic. But even though I wasn’t doing it at much, that didn’t mean I wasn’t thinking about it. I always was. I just didn’t do it.

It was so bad that on at least a few occasions when people would ask me, late at night at bars, what’s the thing you regret or wish you could do more of? I would glower at them, at my drink, and grind my teeth and say I needed to write more. So why don’t you do it, they would ask? I never had a good answer.

When I first moved to New York City, I blamed my job. I was already working in journalism and writing all day for work, so it wasn’t fun to do it at home. I didn’t have the energy for it.

In my next jobs in sales and marketing in tech, I blamed time. I was too busy to find time to write. I was always traveling all over for work on a regular basis and couldn’t figure out where to fit in in my schedule.

More recently, I blamed strategy. Sure, I can write, I would argue. I could if I wanted to, but I don’t want to start something without a clear strategy or theme. Before I start, I would say, I need a clear direction or series of topics that makes sense for me and my personal brand.

Of course in the end all of those were just excuses.

About two years ago in November 2016, I started writing more again. My first post on this Medium account was when the Cubs won the World Series. I guess I supposed if the Cubs could do something great after more than a century of waiting, then I could probably get over myself too.

In 2017, the promise I made to myself to write once a month. I knew in theory I could write more, but I didn’t want to go in too hard too fast. Re-developing the habit, as it turns out, is not easy. In 2018, I upped that promise to twice a month. For the most part, I stuck to it.

And clearly, more recently I’ve been blogging every day. Not every post is good, but it feels good to be in a flow with it. And not only that, but I’ve been writing more on the side too. So in a matter of weeks, I’ve gone from a twice a month habit to a daily one.

One of my biggest takeaways from the past month has been the realization of the discovery of newfound time.

You might say you don’t have time. You might say you don’t have ideas. You might say you don’t have energy. But in the end, if you just tell yourself to get started, that might be all you need to keep going.

What’s the thing you want to be spending more time on? Why aren’t you doing it yet? Start tomorrow.

GM @USV, alum of @StackOverflow and @NorthwesternU, board member at @CompSci_High and @NUalumni, co-founder of #BeyondCodingNYC

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