Finding Time (Debra Black)

It is easy to say “I’m too busy right now.” or “I will sit down and write that in a few hours.”  However, the challenge to take up the proverbial gauntlet and actually let the creative ideas pour forth has yet to be answered.  Perhaps you only have a few short lines that may evolve into a poem.  Maybe you want to get started on a novella that touches a subject close to your heart.  Possibly the idea of scaring your friends with a good old fashioned horror story makes you snicker.

Finding the right time to place the words somewhere concrete can be a daunting task.  Daily life can take up a significant chunk of our attention span.  I wake up, go to work, squeeze in a lunch break if I can manage it, drive to the gym, work out, drive home, shower, dress, and head over to hang out with my friends on any given evening.  We spend the time talking about work, eating dinner, working our way through video games, watching movies, or settling in for a commentary on various subjects to be found on YouTube.  Sometimes we discuss our writing, or lack therein of.  This doesn’t even take into account the various tasks like shopping and laundry that eat up precious moments we would rather spend doing something more entertaining.

Here is the point.  If you are reading this I assume you want to write, but to be successful we are going to need to change our habits.  This may require giving up something else, such as some of that video-game mania (I don’t wanna!).  It could also be accomplished by waking up a bit earlier, or going to sleep a bit later, and dedicating that time to sitting in front of a preferred writing device.  Another idea would be to invite someone else who enjoys writing to sit with you at a chosen time during the week. They could work on something for themselves while you simply enjoy each other’s company (or use each other as sounding boards if you feel like it).

There are so many things we all do in a given week.  My challenge to myself is to pick one day a week to start.  On this day, I will dedicate one hour to writing.  I will not make it some hour squeezed out of a hectic flurry of events.  I will sit somewhere I feel comfortable, and I will make a concerted effort to take the time I have previously taken for granted and do something for myself that will make me feel accomplished and let me have some fun with my imagination.

For those of you who have conquered the time management of writing to the degree that one hour seems ludicrously short, I have a further challenge for you.  November is National Novel Writing Month. During this month (or any other month if you find yourself inspired) you can undertake the challenge of writing 50,000 words in 30 days.  Log onto http://nanowrimo.org/ and feel free try your hand at being ridiculously over-productive while the rest of us find the gumption to stumble through our first paragraphs.

A final bit of advice… If you find yourself looking at the time and thinking of your assigned hour for writing with dismay… stop.  Don’t force yourself to do something that should be fun.  Find your own time and your own way to express your imagination.  A story that you dread writing will most likely be as painful to read as it was to produce.

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1 Comment

Filed under Writing Craft

One response to “Finding Time (Debra Black)

  1. Excellent post. I wrote on the same topic and there’s a link in my latest post to an article by David Mitchell (Cloud Atlas author) on making time to write. Hope you get a chance to visit and read it.

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