Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Time To Write

"I love to write, but I just can't find the time."

Sound familiar? This is an all too common problem for those starting out in writing, or those with a full time job and family responsibilities. I'll be blunt... a writer writes, a non writer talks about it. If you're not writing then you're not a writer....end of! Take up knitting or something, just stop wasting everyone's time, especially your own, with this writing talk if you're not going to do any.

Last year I was a non writer, because what I wrote hardly filled five pages. I have the depression to thank for that. Now I'm better this year is already different. Every spare moment I can find I write, mostly in the wee small hours of the morning when I really should be asleep. But I'm committed so I push myself even when I'd rather be on my Xbox, or in bed snuggled up to my wife. To be honest I could push myself more, and that is always my aim. All writers, without question, suffer from procrastination. Your success is entirely dependant on how much effort you put in to your work. A writing career won't come to you, you have to hunt it down, pin it in a head lock and tweak its nipples until you get what you want.

Let's take a look at a typical day for me. Hello Monday, you're a bastard and you know it.

8.30 am: Up to look after the boy while Mummy goes to work. I don't have to do this, but I love it and wouldn't give it up for anything. My boy is important to me and I've so enjoyed watching him grow up. I couldn't be one of those work-all-day dads who only gets to see their children at weekends, that's not me. It's important to me to spend time with him, play with him, teach him things.

1 pm: An after lunch nap for both the boy and me. I could write here, but sleep is needed due to the hours I work, as you will see later on.

4 pm: Dinner time. Mummy is home and we sit down to eat together. Quality family time.

5 pm: Off to work I go to spend eight hours in a physically demanding job.

1 am: Home. Knackered. Brain dead. All I want to do is sleep. Can't though, as writing must be done. I try and work on one thing at a time which doesn't always work out. As my writing time is so precious if it's not working then I move on to another piece of work and come back to original later. I try to write for at least an hour, two if things are flowing well.

2 - 3 am: Bed at last....zzzzzz.

8.30 am: Is it that time again already? Hello Tuesday, you're a bastard too.

So you may think you don't have much, or even any, time to write, but trust me, even an hour a day makes a huge difference. Find that hour, make it yours, make it a quiet time, and write like the wind.

Anyone can find the time if they really want to write. Do you?


laurence timms said...

Every spare minute. Writing happens late at night, usually between 11pm and 1am. Then script reading from 1am until sleep, whenever that is.

Then any time during the day when I get a few minutes to myself; read, research, write, make notes.

Needless to say the rest of the time I'm thinking about writing.

On top of all this I'm constantly hustling for work, networking, building relationships, doing favours.

And loving all of it.

Dominic Carver said...

Good for you, sir!

Sofluid said...

Great post :)

I love that quote Dom - "A writing career won't come to you, you have to hunt it down, pin it in a head lock and tweak its nipples until you get what you want." Made me laugh but it's sooo true!

I work 9-5.30, get home, take an hour for dinner (accompanied by Home & Away and Hollyoaks) then write from 7-9/10, then as much as I can on weekends, which is sometimes all day! Thus far I've found I can't work early in the mornings. I prefer to catch up on TV I have missed (on demand on the internet) whilst I get ready for work.

I can work late at night, but I usually find I need to be in bed by 10.30 in order to get enough sleep for the next day! Sometimes though I just want to continue until the wee hours, which isn't possible without keeping my other half awake as my desk is in the bedroom (we're still at the parents' house!)

I'm sure the routine will change and evolve as my lifestyle changes, such as getting my house this year :)