I’d like to continue my guest blog theme today. Writing. Uh-huh, that’s about all I know, unless you’d like to see me write a blog entry about running. Sure, I could bore you with details about barefoot training, the first 5k I ran just last month, or my experimentation with different clothing and equipment, but I won’t. Unless you ask, no beg, no…
Wait, you say. You ask, you have time for running?
I do. Most weeks. Maybe not as often as I’d like, but writing for publication is a game of give and take– Sometimes I give up my exercise for the day to make a deadline, and sometimes those deadlines just take my time away before I realize they’re whooshing by.
Time is probably the biggest complaint I’ve seen over the various networks. Not just for writers, but also any other personal goal or challenge. That 5k, for example, required a good bit of preparation and training. That takes time. The cold I had the week before race day also took time. Which added more time to my race time at the time.
Head spinning? I’ll wait for your feet to find the ground again. Good? Okay, onward.
Whether it be running, writing, or knitting sweaters with happy, fuzzy kittens for all the men of your family, life can, quite often, take a dream and shove it rudely on the back burner. It all comes down to finding the time to practice our crafts, put the dream in motion, and to keep it there. It sounds simple on the surface, but when it comes down to action, there are a lot of half finished novels out there, and there are baskets full of yarn waiting for knitting needles to weave them into something warm and cuddly.
So how in the world does a girl like me make time for writing between working full-time, entertaining and caring for family, running ten miles a week, and a dozen other things that always demand my attention at the same time?
First of all, it’s not easy. No matter what your dream is, it’ll never be easy, but attacking the Lack of Time excuse should be first and foremost. You can be the best writer, the fastest runner, the most innovative knitter, and if you don’t make time for that dream, it’ll never become reality. Never.
My number one rule for writing is MAKE TIME.
Oh, were you expecting a deep, dark secret? Did you want the name of the demon with which I made that nefarious deal?
I warned you it wouldn’t be easy.
MAKE TIME means different things for different people. Some get up an hour before the kids and SO to have quiet time, some bring a notebook to work and write through lunch, some unsubscribe from all of those movie channels. What do you do that sucks up time without you knowing it?
For me, I quit World of Warcraft (not an easy feat), and I unsubscribed from a number of blogs listed in my Google Reader. Sure, I’d love to keep up with every writer friend I have, but I can’t do that at the expense of writing time.
Maybe for you, it’s Twitter, or Facebook, or Pop ‘n’ Drop. Maybe it’s chasing after your kids, picking up their toys. Maybe it’s the SO turning on the TV just when you have a moment to sit down. Each person needs to figure out where his or her time goes and then eliminate the things that aren’t needed. We do waste a lot of time – heck, I still do – but I also force myself to ignore the TV when the boy is catching up on his slew of DVR recordings unless, that is, he’s watching Castle or Leverage.
Best of all, by giving up some of these time sucks, my creativity heightened. I never did believe in Writer’s Block to begin with, but I did notice the struggle with “bad writing days” lessened significantly when I wasn’t staring mindlessly at video games. Yes, I loved WoW, but I only miss it when I hear Peter Steele sing.
Oh! Segway! Didn’t even plan that!
Leave a comment with your time frustrations and fixes. I won’t share my deal with the devil, but I’ll happily discuss other options for carving out a bit of time. Afterwards, I’ll expand on my disbelief in Writer’s block over on my personal blog, Staking the Muse, and follow that with a chat about what music means to me as a writer at Pop Bunker.
Thanks for visiting, dear Readers. I hope you enjoyed this visit as much as I did.
Man has free will, and guardian angels have an eternal place in the holy host.
When unexpected feelings interfere with Malchediel’s guidance of a mortal being, he must decide if his love for one man is true, or the work of the devil. Charged with the soul of handsome but suicidal Bran Weller, Malchediel faces a new challenge: Bran’s steadfast belief that homosexuality is not wrong despite the Church’s view of his lifestyle.
In the course of his angelic duties, Mal is tempted to turn a blind eye to long-standing rules of guardianship as he falls in love with his charge. Torn between faith in God and belief that every man deserves love, Malchediel must find a way to balance heart and soul or risk a Fall to Hell.
You can order Fallen directly from the publisher here: FALLEN
About the Author:
Pia Veleno is a naughty girl, but she knows you’re naughty too. Tongue-in-cheek, and everywhere else, she spends her time channeling her inner gay boy, running nowhere, and avoiding housework. Her debut, Fallen, is available through Silver Publishing and her webfic blog, CRANK is well into its second year of steamy manlove and stake-worthy vampires.
You can find Pia polluting these infamous internet rest stops:
Pia’s blog: Staking the Muse (Rambling, babbling, and the occasional writing-related announcement.)
Pia on Twitter (The unrated, uncut Pia. Not guaranteed to be work-safe.)
Pia on Facebook (Slightly higher chance of a work-safe version of Pia. Also, less ranting, babbling, and non-writing silliness.)
Pia on GoodReads (She has an unreasonable fear of bestowing stars, but she will share what she’s reading.)
Pia’s email: email@example.com
Love the post. 🙂 My husband uses the “I didn’t have time” excuse, and it drives me up the wall cause I equate it to a lie. Why? Because life is all about choices. Sure we have 24 hours in the day, and twice a year 25 or 23. And most people have a crap load of stuff to cram into their 24 hours. We know we can’t do everything. So we have to pick and choose what’s important.
So my request wasn’t at the top of the list after a hard day’s work, and he’d rather kick back in front of the tube. I can respect that. My hard working man deserves every break he can squeeze in. 🙂 “No, honey. I didn’t do it.” but never, ever “I didn’t have time.” We all have time, 23-25 hours of it. We just have to priorities. And STOP making lame excuses for our choices.
I had to give up playing so many games from bigfishgames.com. They are awesome, and I was spending way too much time on that. Also, we DVR a lot and my husband likes me to watch the shows with him. There are 5 or 6 that I don’t want to miss, so that’s several hours in my week. Plus, the full time job, church obligations, etc.
One thing I have found is that I’m really tired when I get off from work and don’t want to do anything but play. But if I walk on the treadmill for awhile, it makes me feel better mentally and physically, so then I want to work on writing more.
Reena – Totally agree. I used to do the same thing as your man and couldn’t say what made me realize I was doing it. We need to admit to ourselves that we simply did or didn’t want to make that time.
Lauralynn – I second that. The running has served that purpose for me too. As for the DVR, my boy is the same way, but I plug the laptop in behind the sofa and have learned to edit around his TV commentary. It’s not as efficient, and we’re trying to fine-tune the process, but it’s a start.
The site says there’s three comments, but I only see two… so I hope it simply can’t count. 😉
It counts pingbacks in the comments. Strange and unnecessary… Thanks for posting!
I’m with you two with the TV thing.
I try to spend some quantity time (not quality) with my family while editing also. The TV is a huge distraction. One way I block it out is with earphones. I use text-to-speech to help me catch stupid stuff like “Jack broke his thumb.” versus “Jack broked his thumb.” I can’t compete with the television. My family will just continue to crank up their sound. The earphones solve that problem and helps keep me focused on the task. So physically I get to be with them even though mentally I’m in another world. 🙂
Earphones. Great idea. One of my girls keeps telling me to try that, but I wear a headset most of the day for the “paying job”, so I’ve been avoiding that option.
I too do the multi-tasking during TV. In my case I’m usually working on EDJ number 2–grading, lecture writing, dealing with students. The kind of thing that I can still manage with split attention because, by damn, I work all the time, I’m going to unplug a bit and watch TV that I enjoy. Plus it’s part of the limited time I can spent with hubby doing something we both enjoy (there is much debate about stuff in our shows). Multi-tasking and writing is something I can do only if hubs is watching something I’m not interested in or playing video games or something. Like the latest Star Wars game came out, so I’ll have some ignoring time for the next few weeks while he’s beating that. My biggest thing is that I have very little totally alone, the house/office is empty, and nobody’s going to come demand something of me time. THAT’s my biggest thing. Sensory overload most of the time. I need QUIET.