A Time for Every Purpose

Many times, people come up to me and say they want to write a book but can’t find the time. Aspiring writers, people who are making an effort to write, often say the same thing.

Both groups cite full time jobs, church obligations, family responsibilities and activities that prevent or hinder them from pursuing their desire to write. These are all legitimate undertakings that must be accomplished if we’re to support ourselves, raise God-centered children and contribute to our faith communities and neighborhoods.

I want to share one insight I’ve gained over the last ten years of pursuing this writing dream: You’ll never find the time to write. You make the time to write.

When I whined to my mentor, DiAnn Mills, that I couldn’t find the time to write, her simple, straight-forward advice: GET UP EARLIER. Not what I wanted to hear but it took root in my heart and God nurtured it. Okay, he nagged me. I started getting up at 4:00 a.m. to write. This gave me one-and-a-half hours of solid, productive writing time every morning before I went to my day job.

Jerry B. Jenkins wrote between 9:00 p.m. and Midnight so as not to take time away from his family.

One of my close writing buddies negotiated with her children (she has 6) and husband for a certain amount of undisturbed writing time each week.

A soccer-mom friend uses soccer practice to write.

Need to make time to write? Take a couple of weeks and track your time. Make a simple chart that blocks out the hours of the day and then note what you’re doing during those hours. After two weeks, you’ll be able to identify at least five hours in your present schedule for writing without having to get up earlier or stay up later. Start with your television and internet time and go from there. Set a schedule, negotiate with your family, find a writing spot and do it.

And pray. If writing is the desire of your heart, God will give you the insight into how to make the time to live out His call, His plan, for you.

8 Responses to A Time for Every Purpose

  1. Lori Freeland February 29, 2012 at 4:36 pm #

    I agree. I stay up sometimes until 2 am (I’m a night person not a morning person) to write. I write in the car if I’m not driving, while I’m waiting for Maddy’s piano lesson, in the free half hour I have at homeschool co-op–you get the picture. You are absolutely right. If you want to be a writer you carve out the time, no matter what.

  2. Kariss Lynch February 29, 2012 at 5:12 pm #

    I needed that challenge and encouragement today, Henry. Thank you for being faithful in the gifts the Lord has given you. You are a blessing!

  3. Henry February 29, 2012 at 6:41 pm #

    Thank you, Kariss. The Father gave me this post for me more than anyone else. I’m blessed it touched you.

  4. Henry February 29, 2012 at 6:42 pm #

    Thanks, Lori. There’s time all around us. We just need to be alert for it.

  5. carol mcclain February 29, 2012 at 8:58 pm #

    I’ve found that we always find time to do what we want to do. So if we don’t have time to write, it probably means we don’t want to write. Can we pass on TV? Computer games? Reading time? Can we get up earlier or go to bed later? Do we really have to clean behind the refrigerator?

    What we want to do, we do.

  6. Nikole Hahn March 1, 2012 at 3:34 pm #

    So true. I hear similar complaints. I don’t have time either until I made time and organized my time; then, disciplined it. Now I have time and wonder where my sleep went? I wouldn’t want it any other way.

  7. Henry March 1, 2012 at 8:30 pm #


  8. Sue Watson March 10, 2012 at 3:28 pm #

    A good reminder. I need to not open my email or Facebook. Then I could use that time to write.

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