Monday, September 14, 2009
How I spend my time writing. Part Four: Actually Writing
I try to write every day. I don’t meet that goal, but I try. Writing on a daily basis helps keep my mind focused on my goal of finishing a novel next year.
So how do I find time to write? It was easy. I cut back on video games, TV and movies. Three things that I certainly enjoyed, but were low on the priority list when I need more time to devote to certain tasks. I still sit down and watch a movie with the family every couple weeks, and I can’t avoid 30 Rock, but cutting back on the hours was the easy part. The hard part is actually doing something with those available hours.
What time I’ve gained does not translate directly to hours writing. Once I sit down at the computer there are a myriad of things to distract me. Facebook needs checking, see who is listed on instant messenger, my RSS reader has 14 new articles, should I check my email just in case someone sent me something important?
To help me combat this deluge of distractions, I created a second login on my computer just for writing. I removed all the icons from the desktop, I cleaned up as much as I could. Black and white desktop background, only the most essential programs available from the dock that I need to write. This certainly isn’t perfect, but it’s better. I still have access to the internet, I could get distracted nearly as easy, but it helps, and it’s enough to keep me focused on my task at hand.
My writing schedule isn’t set in stone. I’m working on trying to find the optimum time for me to write. Some days I do it right after work, but that doesn’t always work that well for me as I’m generally too wound up to get into the mood. That’s right, the old headache excuse, it works for guys too ya know.
Writing once the kids are in bed has it’s merits, but it’s also the only time I have in a day to spend time with my wife, so I’m torn. Plus if I’m too wound up from writing, I’ll have a hard time falling asleep and I’ve been working really hard to get my sleep patterns better the last few months.
The morning would work but living in the Phoenix area means the only good time I can go walking outside is early in the morning, so right now that’s out. Till I figure it out better, I’ll just find time in my day and make sure I write.
Regardless of what time I work on my novel, the blog is still priority for now. So it gets the available slot in the mornings before work. Blogging helps me organize my thoughts and I have a surprising number of ideas that pop into my head while I’m working on my blog. The idea I had while I was writing this was how my book is being influenced by His Dark Materials series…that’s something I’ll have to make sure I tone down. Then again that series is one of my favorites, maybe I’ll leave it in!
So with all those thoughts down, I’ll close down this blog entry and actually get some writing done. My next blog entry will be on research, something I’ll be doing a lot of in the coming weeks.