I am one of the most disorganized people in the world. I get alot done, but often with the smoothness of Taz, the Tasmanian Devil.

My largest challenge is guarding my “writing” time. This isn’t just time I spend in my office, but time I use to put words on paper.

Years ago, I started writing from four a.m. until seven a.m. I tried writing in the evening but it seemed every time I started, someone in the family would need something that they’d forgotten to tell me–poster board for school the next day, a copy of the latest tax return, etc. and so forth and so on.

No one bothers you at four a.m.

Then again, it is too easy to hit the snooze button at four a.m. as well!

Now I have the luxury of writing full time, but I find I still need to “create” writing time. I was told years ago that there would come a time when the business of writing would take more time than the actually writing. I think I’m there, and if I want to do what I value, I must find the time to do it–even if it means clawing it out.

So, this week, I believe I shall start practicing the use of the word “No.” There are many ways to decline an offer. Living in the south, I hear savvy women say no all the time with such style, I want to apologize for having asked. (I must master this trait!)

If we are serious about achieving our goals–whether it be meeting a page count or learning a new skill or exercising or any of the hundreds of activities that make our lives meaningful–we must learn to create time for ourselves. Nor do I want my life so busy that I can’t say yes when something special comes my way.

I believe it is time to set my alarm for four a.m. again because writing is important to me. Creating stories is what I value.

And what about you? Can you say no? Are you putting yourself, well, maybe not first, but high up there on the list?

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