The hard truth about time

You don’t have enough time to write or time to write enough. 
 
You want to write or write more, for all sorts of very good reasons.
 
But – there’s not enough time at the moment. 
 
There will be One Day, just not now. 
 
I thought so too until this.

That’s the stage at the Perth Concert Hall, right before author and screenwriter Neil Gaiman stepped into the glittering pool of light and began to speak. 

I’d almost missed out – the tickets all sold within minutes of going on sale and I was massively disappointed as I’m a huge fan of Gaiman’s storytelling. But my lovely, lovely friend Karen (bless her generous soul) managed to get a ticket for me at the last minute and there I was. 

The show started with questions from the crowd – scribbled on notecards before the show and handed to Gaiman backstage. The first was not from me but seemed to come from my heart.

‘How do you find time to write and do book tours and be with your family and do everything else you want to fit in?’ 


Seventeen hundred people leaned in. 

‘I don’t’. 

Neil Gaiman is an internationally celebrated writer – he makes a very good living from writing very excellent stories. 

Yet he can’t find enough time to write. 

That’s when the tears started. Not tears of defeat but of relief.

Because with that admission Neil Gaiman threw away the myth of writing, of creating anything.

That when we reach that income or stage in life or degree of success, THEN we’ll have more time for what we really want to do.

With his words, I was free to realise (remember even) that writing is something I need to fit into my life as it is, not delay until everything is perfectly aligned. 

Even at his level of success, Neil Gaiman still struggles to fit writing in – but he still writes. 

He chips away at what looks like the impenetrable stone of daily life and carves out enough space to include writing. 

Sometimes the space is a full day and other times it’s just a few minutes. But he uses all of it to bring his work slowly into form. 

What an insight. It’s not time that is lacking but the determination to see our own wall of stone for what it is – something we can carve into – instead of allowing it to be what it looks like – a barrier to the path we want to follow.

The next morning, I got up thirty minutes earlier to write. I’ve been doing it ever since.

What can you chip away at to create the space you crave? 

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