From time to time I let people know that I am writing fiction, specifically the first of several novels. It amuses, and sometimes irritates me when I receive comments of the following type:
“Oh I would love to write, but I just don’t have the time.”
This is utter nonsense. Everyone is alloted precisely the same amount of time to write every day: 24 hours. It is just that the vast majority of people choose to spend the time on other things.
There’s nothing wrong with that. Time is a scarce resource and most people have a lot of conflicting demands to which it must be allocated.
However, to me, the words “I just don’t have the time” imply the speaker believes time allocation is beyond their control, and that is just not true.
If you want to write, you will find the time. You’ll steal it from some of your other activities. You’ll re-arrange priorities, discontinue other pursuits, reduce time spent in other hobbies — anything to give you the time you need to write.
What people really mean when they say “Oh, I would love to write, but I just don’t have the time” is they would write if somehow they were magically granted an additional hour or two each day, on top of the 24 they are already given.
But I doubt that even then most of them would take that time and use it to write. After all, if they can’t make the choice to carve out some writing time from the 24 hours they already have, how likely is it that the additional — magically granted — time will not be put to some other use?
In the end I usually quote the following saying (not original, and I don’t remember where I heard it):
Someone who is busier than you are is writing right now.