Finding the Time to Write

Posted: June 30, 2011 in Writing

How do writers with full-time jobs find the time and energy to write?

When I recently decided to take another crack at writing, I wasn’t exactly sure what I was getting myself into. When I was unemployed, after job hunting, I had so much extra time on my hands, so finding time to write was obviously a no brainer. However, now that I’m fully employed and have a career that I’m building on (I manage an obituaries column, so maybe my career has actually died!), finding time to write has been a bit challenging, mostly because I find myself figuratively drained of life by the end of the day and I just want to vegetate when I get home… not spend more time in front of a computer screen. Right now, I’m struggling to just write this article at work before I head home for the day. But, it’s the end of the month and I want to have my goal of four posts per month complete, which was my sole motivation to write something for my website today. Exciting, huh?

Actually the real motivation to ponder my struggles with finding time to write spawned from an article that a Twitter friend of mine wrote. Steven Montano, author of “Blood Skies” wrote an entertaining article on the subject which I thought was worth sharing. It’s a two part post and can be viewed here: The Writing Discipline: Part One and The Writing Discipline: Part Two. After reading Steven’s posts, I thought, “Heck! If Steven can manage to write his books with his hectic schedule (which, by the way, although chaotic, it’s very organized and routine) then I can get my tail in gear and do the same thing! I think my problem is just that… I’m not very organized, I have no routine, and I’m easily distracted. It’s worth a shot, though!

Simplification and structure may be key to my literary struggles.

I think part of my problem is that I try to do too much at once sometimes. I have my responsibilities at work, of course, so I can’t get around that hurdle. Well, I guess I could, but then I wouldn’t be writing this article; I’d be holding a sign at the intersection by the mall instead: WILL WRITE FOR FOOD. I have very convenient hours for a writer, too. I work from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and… oh, look at the time! It’s seven o’clock and time to leave the office and finish this article at home…

Four hours (dinner, one episode of Frasier, a few innings of the Houston Astros baseball game, a car wash, half an episode of Sons of Tuscon, and one Smirnoff) later…

Okay, I think we’ve nailed down the fact that writing discipline has become a bit of an issue with me lately, but starting July 1, I have decided to turn over a new leaf and try to get more organized and put together some sort of realistic routine that I can keep. My ultimate goal is to finish editing “Pursuit of a Dream” so I can get it up on the Kindle. I’ve got to keep my routine simple and not try to cram too much into the day, and most importantly, resist the temptation to watch television or (gasp!) play a few rounds of golf on my PS3 until I’ve gotten my daily dose of writing in. This also means I have to resist spending too much time on Twitter, which on the most part I have been successful. While networking is important, writing needs to come first.

Wish me luck!

So, as I strive to become a more disciplined writer and more organized person in general, I ask you, my dear readers, to wish me luck in this adventure we call writing. Hopefully by this time next week, I’ll be able to report some major editing and writing progress. Until then, it’s time to work on that routine. I’ll call it my Mid-Year Resolution Project. Okay, that’s a bit corny. We’ll go with just getting my ass in gear and writing already!

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