Sunday, November 19, 2006

'Finding' Time to Write

I don't think any writer finds the time to write. They make it.

Life is filled with choices -- large and small -- and it is our choices that determine what we're able to do. Throughout my time writing Apparitions there were countless other distractions I could have occupied myself with. I chose not to.

I don't watch T.V so that is never an issue for me. I have a great fondness for movies though and will watch them by the dozens if allowed to. Since most people won't reign you in, you have to do it yourself. So unless I'm in-between projects (which hasn't happened in almost 2 years) I set aside Friday nights as my movie night. That's the only time I watch anything.

There are many things I've given up that I enjoy in order to dedicate myself to a career in writing while juggling hubby, kids, hell hound time, fitness, family, community and social obligations. As hard as it is to say 'no' to the desire to wonk out on Age of Wonders or watch the newest horror film that's hit the stands…I don't regret any of it.

To me the sacrifice is well worth it. The question I would pose to potential writers that ask the 'How do you find time to write' question is -- what is it worth to you?

If writing is a high priority then cut everything that you don't absolutely have to do and use the time that frees up to write. If you can't do that then writing isn't really that important to you and that's ok. It doesn't have to be. Just work with the hours you can manage to eek in between everything else. Just don't complain about it…because you could change it if you wanted to.

About the author -

Raven Bower is the author of the upcoming horror novel, Apparitions (ArcheBooks March 2007)

Apparitions Blog

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Anonymous Markus Niemi said...

And to continue what's already been said - if you feel like you have to do everything you do and can't cut away anything, it's ok. Writing isn't for everyone.

Or to put it in a blunter form - if you can't cut away anything, then you're not looking hard enough or don't want to write enough. Now, for one like me, writing isn't really a choice anymore... it's more of an addiction, a nigh physical need. You don't want to be around me if I don't get to write for a week, trust me.

So, this addiction lead me to re-prioritize stuff, and literally, juggle stuff around - such as selling my TV. That freed up loads of time for me... not to mention it spares me from the garbage known as 'programs', even if I now get weird looks when people hear I don't have a TV.

Even still, I know that there are only so many hours in the day - especially if one works two jobs in opposite shifts (been there), or lives in a highly discplined and organized environment - like the army (done that). In both cases, I had to result to the perhaps most important skill of a writer - scheduling.

Making plots, guidelines and plans is a very important to writer, that much is true, but what can you do with a plot if you don't have the time to write it out?

With that in mind, I'd say that any writer-to-be should first learn the fine art of scheduling - making time, before they dedicated themselves to a writing project.

It'll be much easier that way. Trust me.


Tue Nov 21, 10:12:00 AM  
Blogger Raven Bower said...

Isn't that funny? When people are talking about programs (I shudder using that word for what stations pawn off 'programs' these days) or asking if you saw this or that. Then when you say "I don't watch T.V." They either think you're joking or start eyeing you like some form of alien bug.

One guy (telemarketer for a cable channel) thought I was kidding, jested about it for a while then realized I was serious. Then I got the "What are you...some sort of Puritan?"

Me: (after laughing profusely...if he only knew...) "No. Firstly I don't have the time to sit on my arse end watching 'reality' shows that film a bunch of people with too much time on their hands bashing and backstabbing one another. Secondly current programs clash with what I consider to be entertainment. So if I had the time I'd read. Thanks."

He hung up :D To this day I've not gotten another call from that company. I wonder what he put in the little note section they keep...

Tue Nov 21, 10:27:00 AM  

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