For many people, the excuse for not getting their book done was that they just didn’t have time. Then came the coronavirus, lockdowns, quarantines, and working from home. Many people thought it would be the perfect time to finally write that book. Here are three reasons why precious few have written much.
Less Free Time and More Distractions
The ideal of being able to work from home was that you’d have more free time to work on your book. That doesn’t happen for most folks. In fact, if you’re working from home instead of somewhere else, you probably have less free time. You use time you used to use for commuting figuring out how to get work done in this new environment. You spend more coordinating with your work mates.
Plus, when you work at home, there are a lot more distractions. Housework is right there where you can see it, reminding you it should be done. Those ideas about projects around the house and the yard surge to the front of your mind. You wind up thinking about the distractions and not your book.
Discipline and Good Habits
No matter where you write, you need discipline and good habits. You need discipline to carve out spaces in your day to write. They should be large blocks of time. You need them on a regular basis. And when it’s time to write, you need to write.
Good habits will help you get things done even when your discipline is not so good. If you write at the same time of day and in the same place whenever you write, your brain will start connecting that time and that place with writing.
You’re fighting human nature, though. All things being equal, most humans, most of the time, will choose the easy thing instead of the hard but more important thing. Knowing that may help you feel better, but it won’t help you write your book.
What Are You Willing to Give Up?
You must give things up to get the time and mental space to write. Time is an obvious one. The time you spend on writing is time you won’t spend doing anything else.
Maybe you think you can give up a little sleep. After all, many writing advisors say that that’s what you should do, start an hour earlier or stay up an hour later. Don’t do it. If you’re writing a book, you need all the brainpower you can muster. You need more sleep, not less.
You spend free time with family and other important relationships. How about getting some time from there? That probably won’t happen, either, in a quarantine situation. The people that matter to you are likely to want more of your time, rather than less.
What’s left for most people is giving up income. If you’re an independent consultant or salesperson, you can spend less time earning money and use that time for writing. Sad, but true, that’s how most mid-career folks find the time to finish their book.
None of This Is New
Most reasons you’re not getting your book written during quarantine are the same as they would be otherwise. During quarantine, you save on commute time. But it takes more time to get the work done.