Busy Is Good.  Busy is GREAT.

From The Productive Indie Fiction Writer:

How often do you think, even in the back of your brain, “I’m too busy to write!”?

Especially if you are working any sort of alternative revenue stream, or have a day job, writing becomes much easier to off-load with the justification that this thing over here is paying the bills and deserves your attention.

But being busy is actually a good thing.  You can get a lot of writing done when you’re busy.  Perhaps just as much as you could if you had no other commitments.

Yes, you read that right.

I’ve had two experiences with this phenomenon. 

In the 18 months before I got to quit my day job for the second time and finally, actually stay at home and write full time, my writing income was matching my day job income, and by the end of the 18 months, exceeding it.   

I didn’t quit as soon as the income equalized, because I wanted to make sure it wasn’t a bubble.  And that extra income paid for major renovations on our house, too. 

But for the year leading up to finally walking away from full time employment for good, I had a writing career that badly needed to be full time, as well. 

I was busy.

The interesting thing about that year was that I wrote and released a staggering 12 novels. 

While writing full-time, before my diagnosis, I was publishing 13 or 14 books a year, and I was nearly at that old rate, this year.

Except now I’ve hit another exceptionally busy period.

I recently won a contract to edit a city magazine and its associated website content, along with various ad hoc publications, for a publishing and marketing company. 

The size of the contract was completely unlooked for and happened because of what one might call miraculous timing. 

What I thought (and what the publisher thought) would be a half-time project, leaving me with half my time to write fiction, has grown into a monster.  There was a lot of work that was hidden to the publisher until I pointed it out as essential work to support the magazine and the website.  He agreed and now I’m doing all that work, too. 

Plus the magazine and a brand new publication, and its still-being-built website all need content before they go to press in early May.

I am so far beyond busy it is scary.


I keep recalling how supposedly busy I was in the last year of working two essentially full-time jobs. 

In the last week, I’ve been writing my butt off; writing fiction, and writing content for two sites and two upcoming publications. 

The very interesting thing about the last week is that I’ve had no hesitation about sitting down and writing.  I just did it, because there was no time to indulge in procrastination, and wonder if I could get to it tomorrow.  I know I can’t afford to leave things until tomorrow, so I just got ‘er done.

I’ve now hit a period where the non-fiction content is going to take over my life for a week or maybe two, (print deadlines are looming!) which means I will have to push back my publication schedule of fiction.  But I know it’s temporary, because the second publication and the associated site are new and must be populated with good content, but once they’re established and published, the workload will ease considerably.

And I also know that when I do get back to writing fiction, I’m not going to have any trouble at all jumping in and getting it written. 

I’m so busy, there’s no time to procrastinate.

Your fiction has to matter.

The key to this phenomenon is that you must want to write.  It has to be important to you.

In my case, I have thousands of readers waiting semi-patiently for the next book in their favourite series, and I’m just getting back to writing at a productive pace I like. 

I’m not going to give that up (except for this short period coming up).  It’s my happy place.

When I was still working full time, I also wrote because that was my key to quitting the day job. 

You must want to write and produce stories.  Even if your writing is not yet producing gobs of cash, you must still feel in your bones that the writing is important, that somewhere ahead in the future it will be a money earner (or you will win that publishing contract, or you will hit the bestseller list, etc.)  Whatever your reason for writing, it will only happen if the writing gets done, especially when you’re busy.

When you don’t think of your writing as important, or critical, then it becomes far too easy to not write when you’re busy.  But if you must get the writing done, for whatever reason, then you will. 

That’s the power of being busy.

If you’re half-hearted about wanting to write, or don’t feel that your writing is important (a common belief among newer writers), then you need to work on that.  Everyone’s writing is important.  Especially to the writer. 

I don’t win awards and don’t hit best seller lists, but I please a great many readers with my stories, and I earn enough to pay bills and not have to find full time employment.

To me, it’s critical that I write more books and get them published.

Your reason why you must write will likely be different, but you must know what it is. 

Being busy will measure how important writing is to you.

If you consider yourself to be a stupidly busy person and simply don’t get the writing done because you’re too busy, this might be a measure of the true priority you’re giving your writing.

Note; there is a point where you’re so genuinely maxed out that writing just can’t squeeze in there, no matter how important your writing is to you.

I’ve reached that point this week, but it took me a couple of days of still trying to write my fiction to realize that it wasn’t going to work—temporarily, at least.

But you should know if that is genuinely where you are [when it’s impossible to write fiction].  The truth-speaker in the back of your brain will know if you’re putting off writing with the “I’m too busy” excuse, or if you really are too busy.

The entire Productive Indie Fiction Writer site is chock full of ways to get more writing into your life.  If you’re busy, but you really want to write, you can.  It might only be an hour a day, but you’ll be staggered by how much a consistent hour of writing a day will add up to.

And with some hacks and shifts in perspective, and off-loading of non-important “shoulds”, you can usually find more than an hour a day.

Embrace Busy as a Bonus Tool

Being busy, even being stupidly busy, is a bonus.  When you are determined to write, anyway, being super busy will stop you from procrastinating. 

You’ll be uber productive, because you don’t have time to waste.

I’m looking forward to hitting that point with my own time, very soon.

Tracy Cooper-Posey

SRP Author and owner of The Productive Indie Fiction Writer

Tracy is one of Stories Rule Press’ most prolific authors. She also hangs out at The Productive Indie Fiction Writer, where she writes about issues facing today’s indie author, and solutions that make the indie life a little easier.