Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I wish this were my job

Aie. It has been a helluva couple of weeks.

I've come up against one of the key obstacles to writing 'professionally' - namely, that writing professionally takes the kind of time commitment that doing most anything professionally does, and I don't have that kinda free time. I already have a job, as well as numerous other non-optional parts of my life that soak up free moments faster than I can acquire them.

While I'm perfectly aware that I won't be able to devote eight hours a day to writing - and never expected to - the approach I was taking was to write every day. A few hundred words a day, at least. It shouldn't be too hard. Hell, when I taught Martial Arts for a living I was always telling my students that they waste plenty of time during the day that they could have been practicing in, and now I find myself struggling to free up one hour each day to write in. Some days it's easy enough, but others it really does seem like I can't string 60 minutes together to save my life.

I've tried writing in even smaller chunks of time, but for better or for worse I just can't settle into it enough in half an hour, or fifteen minutes. I need time to decide where the story is going, what scene I want to write, and most importantly to focus on the task. I consider myself a pretty mentally disciplined person, but that doesn't come without a bit of effort, which also takes time. Bloody hell, everything takes time.

The one thing I have been able to do is keep my mind on writing, which helps to a certain extent. If I can solve the little obstacles - like "How do they start this important conversation?" or "Why would character A do activity B which gets them in position C in time for Plot Device D?" - in my free moments here and there, it makes it all the more easier to settle into that writing time when I finally get around to it.

It's a good thing I take the bus to work.


  1. If it's any comfort at all, you know you're not alone in your predicament, right? I find carrying a hand-held digital recorder makes ANY moment of the day potentially productive, at least in terms of preserving inspirations and epiphanies. ;)

  2. Oh, certainly. Ever writer I know thinks this. Even as I was typing it I was thinking "Man, this is a bitch that has been bitched before" - but that didn't stop me from having MY turn...

    I've been thinking about a recorder for a long while. I use a notepad type feature on my phone, but sometimes I have too much I want to keep down, and while good the voice-to-text features isn't _quite_ good enough. I wonder if there is a decent recorder app.