05 May 2012

When faced with virtually unlimited time, writers still don't have time to write

Puck and Tink are in Florida, and will be for about another week. It's okay. I'm hanging in there.

But I've noticed something during this time the kids have been visiting Monty. Even by myself in the early morning and evenings, and a free couple of hours in the afternoons, I have not gotten the chance to catch up on some of the writing I wanted to do during this time.

Writers are master procrastinators. Sure, I can sit for hours to write and get a lot done, but I can also find hundreds of excuses not to write. It's a gift. And a curse.*

I would have thought that, by now, I'd have learned from NaNoWriMo and Screnzy. After all, if I can write 50,000+ words or 100+ pages of script in one month, surely I can get caught up on writing-related things while the kiddos are in Florida, right?

Not so much.

Even with fewer non-writing responsibilities, I've managed to procrastinate. The first couple of days I convinced myself I needed to take a breath and relax. Since then, though, it hasn't been a complete turnaround. I find other things that have to be done rightthisminute, I let myself get distracted by family and friends.

I haven't found a solution that works. Depending on what projects I have, I can stay off the internet, which helps, but both of the projects I'm working on over the next week or so require internet access to be able to work on.

I think, for me, it's a mixture of lack of motivation and distractability. Yes, I'm easily distracted (Pinterest, anyone?), but I know part of it is the...weirdness of not having the kiddos at home. Since I don't have all the things that I have to do for them every day, I've gotten a bit of a feeling that I don't want to do anything at all.

Maybe I just need another cup of coffee.

*This is a reference to this.


  1. Growing up, among my favorite writers was one of the all time great writers of science fiction, and in his time, probably the most commercially successful, Robert Heinlein. His biography by Alexi Panshin noted that Heinlein claimed to work as a writer only 3 months out of each year - yet his output over the years was prolific.

    His secret? He imposed on himself the rule that EVERY day he wrote, he would produce a minimum of 4 pages of finished copy - no matter how long it took.

    This sounds easy - gosh, only 4 pages! How hard can that be? Yet, as Panshin further notes, living up to a rule like that, day in and day out, requires an incredible amount of professional discipline.

    I always remember that little story whenever I myself am confronted with writer's block - or sometimes even when the urge to put something off is almost overpowering.

  2. That's why I have my writing schedule based on my income rather than time spent. I know the minimum amount of money I need to average each day in order to meet my financial needs/goals. One day it may only take five hours to accomplish that goal, while other days it may take ten. Regardless of how much time it takes, it's what I have to do.


Add a little caffeine to my life...