Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Time (and How to Find It)

I will freely admit that I am a procrastinator.  Case-in-point:  I'm living at home right now, volunteering here and there, and working part-time.

I have time.  I mean, I have TIME like you wouldn't believe.  But I'm still only averaging about 1500 words a day.  (It pains me to admit that.)

What I need--and everyone needs--is time to write.  This can be procured in one of two ways:  either by (1) freezing time in the middle of the day, preferably when your blood sugar is high, you feel great, and inspiration is whirring all around you, and sitting down to write, or (2) time management.

If you can't freeze time, I'd suggest the latter.  What I'd also suggest you do is go out and get yourself a copy of Chris Baty's NO PLOT? NO PROBLEM.  It's basically the National Novel Writing Month bible--it shows you exactly how to write a 50K-word novel in a month!  It's also helpful for those slightly saner folk who just want to write a novel, period.

What Chris suggests is basically this:

  • make a list of everything you do, from waking to sleep
  • mark how long each thing takes you to do
If you find that you're watching TV mindlessly for an hour after dinner, guess what?  You could be writing.  If you're stopping to get an iced mocha on your way to work, save some money and write for the fifteen minutes you give yourself to do that.

Make it easy for yourself.  If you have a laptop, keep it nearby.  If you prefer to write with pen and paper, always keep at least a small notepad in your pocket.  (Although I'm in the TYPE IT BECAUSE HAND-WRITING TAKES WAAAAY TOO LONG camp, I have a mega-purse and will occasional stuff a full-sized notebook in there when I can't bring my computer with me.  Just a thought.)

And I know, I'm sort of a hypocrite telling you all this stuff, but I'm working on my own issues with the notorious T-I-M-E.  I promise.

Hopefully, you'll find some time for yourself and your writing.  I know it's tough, but it's totally worth it.

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