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How I Find the Time to Write – Margery Leveen Sher
If you are a writer, you need two things: time and self-discipline. I have neither.
But I do have huge ambition, a large ego, and as icing on the cake, a great tendency to be boring. I use these assets as levers to find the time and force the self-discipline.
After a successful career as a work-life balance consultant (note the ego here), I decided to spend concentrated time returning to my roots as a writer of short essays noting the small, often humorous, things that we see every day. I started this “career” in high school when, instead of paying attention in class, I would write funny notes about school and give them to my boyfriend. He would share them with his friends, who loved them (note my ego again.)
My goal in this new writing career was, and is, to be on The New York Times bestseller list. And why not as #1? (Note the huge ambition here.)
However, I also like money. Therefore, I decided not to quit my day job, which I started after I retired from my career as a consultant. My day job (which I still have) is Executive Director of a non-profit organization providing health care to children. And herein lies the desperate need for time and discipline.
Lucky for me, I am boring. I never watch TV. I know nothing about TV shows, actors, or characters. I also know little to nothing about popular culture. See how boring I am?
I don’t even read much, which is a cardinal sin for writers. We are supposed to read voraciously. This, of course, produces extreme guilt in me. However, I am also an iconoclast. Or maybe just stubborn. I don’t have the luxury of reading for fun right now, and that is just the way it is.
So see, if you don’t watch TV, you don’t follow popular culture, and you hardly ever read, you can eke out some time for writing.
In fairness to you, dear reader, I do not have young kids at home anymore, so my nights and weekends are pretty much my own. I do have a husband and I do, believe it or not, have some friends, who all occupy some of my time, but really my “free” time is much more flexible at this stage.
I started this new writing career by creating a website www.DidYaNotice.com and blogging. After blogging for a couple of years, I realized that I could put these blog posts together into a book. And that is what I did. It took me about five months to organize the book, edit the blog posts, and add additional material to really make it a cohesive book rather than a group of blog posts. From that work was born The Noticer’s Guide to Living and Laughing, subtitled Change Your Life Without Changing Your Routine.
So, my fellow boring egotists: Celebrate your assets and get the @#$% book written!
Margery Leveen Sher is the author of The Noticer’s Guide to Living and Laughing, as well as a motivational speaker. She founded The Did Ya Notice? ™ Project www.DidYaNotice.com after a career as a work-life balance consultant to multinational corporate clients as well as government agencies, including the White House.