I hear it over and over again, “Phil, I’d love to write my book (or insert screenplay, make a movie, launch that business, etc..) but I just don’t have the time.” We all seem so busy these days, how can we possibly find time to write, plan, or produce what we really dream about? Believe me, I’ve heard it a thousand times.

In my case, back in my twenties and early thirties, when I worked for someone else, I solved the problem by coming into the office at 6am and getting a couple of hours of writing in before work started. That’s why I loved crime fiction legend Elmore Leonard’s interview recently in the Wall Street Journal. He was asked:

You got your start publishing Westerns in pulp magazines in the 1950s and 1960s. What drew you to that genre?

He replied: “Because Westerns were selling in the ’50s. I started writing in ’51. Through the ’50s I sold about 30 short stories and five books while I was working at an ad agency, writing Chevrolet ads, bored out of my mind. When I was working at the ad agency, I’d get up at five and work two hours. I could write two pages in that time. Now, to write two pages would take at least half a day.”

Elmore started at 5am. Now I realize I’d better step up my game. How about you? Do you want to get to the end of your life and look back on the fact that you created something significant, or that you answered all your email and kept your Facebook page updated?

The choice is up to you. Have a dream? Then find the time.


Phil Cooke, Ph.D. is a producer and media consultant to churches and ministries across the country. His latest book is “The Way Back: How Christians Blew Their Credibility and How We Get It Back.” Find out more at www.philcooke.com.


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