Author Topic: finding the time  (Read 6331 times)

Listener

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on: March 11, 2008, 01:13:03 PM
When do you find the time to write?

For me, it's on my lunch break, after the baby goes to bed (if there's nothing on the TiVo and I don't have freelance work to do), and sometimes before work. 

Living in a major metropolitan city with no viable system of mass transit where it's impossible to afford a house that can support a family that's also within 15 minutes of the office means that I lose more than 90 minutes a day commuting, and almost 2.5 hours on Thursdays when I have to pick my daughter up from her grandparents'.  Add to that the fact that I spend 75-90 minutes at the office before work starts doing my exercise regimen, plus time to play with the baby, sleep, eat, and relax, and there's really very little time available.  And that doesn't include the weekends where I'm on call and occasionally actually have to accomplish things.  AND if I want to better my knowledge of computer-type stuff that's not related to work (ie: I'm trying to read through the Llama Book -- PERL -- right now) I have to do THAT on my own time as well, along with reading for pleasure and to unwind at night.

Plus there's the whole connectivity issue -- half an hour or so each night catching up on blogs and forums that you wouldn't want to look at on company time.  And as more social networking services arrive, those of us who might someday want to use them to notify people of new stories or books will have to sign up for them, maintain them, and keep the content fresh on them.

I believe it was David Mack (but I could be wrong) who said that, when he was starting out writing, he would do his regular things during the day, then sacrifice sleep-time to write.  I'm getting very close to having to do that.

So.  When do you find the time to write?

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DKT

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Reply #1 on: March 11, 2008, 05:44:55 PM
Oh, good.  I was thinking about posting a similar topic :) 

Yeah, I sacrifice sleep.  I'd prefer to stay up late and do it, but that doesn't work for a number of reasons (often, I find I'm a bit lethargic by then, and also it means my wife and I go to bed at different times, which I hate).  So I get up early, around 4 am.

This is very rough, because I am the antithesis of a morning person.  But if I can pull it off several times a week, I can get quite a bit of work done.  Also, I'm so tired at that point in the morning, there's no way I'm going to waste time surfing the internet.  If my ass is going to be out of bed, I'm going to be writing. 

Also, I try to write when I have downtime at work.  Lunch breaks, occasionally, but more often in between projects.


Listener

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Reply #2 on: March 11, 2008, 06:46:59 PM
Yeah, I sacrifice sleep.  I'd prefer to stay up late and do it, but that doesn't work for a number of reasons (often, I find I'm a bit lethargic by then, and also it means my wife and I go to bed at different times, which I hate).  So I get up early, around 4 am.

This is very rough, because I am the antithesis of a morning person.  But if I can pull it off several times a week, I can get quite a bit of work done.  Also, I'm so tired at that point in the morning, there's no way I'm going to waste time surfing the internet.  If my ass is going to be out of bed, I'm going to be writing. 

I actually write a lot more at night than in the morning, because I've done everything I have to do and can concentrate on writing, instead of news or TV or email or anything else.  But then I can't really wind down afterward, so I end up staying up until midnight or 1 am.

I turned myself into a morning person by getting up at 530am every morning to exercise.  Do it often enough and it stops sucking QUITE so much.

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Nobilis

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Reply #3 on: March 11, 2008, 09:42:39 PM
My goal is 500 words a day.  On a good day I can do it in a half hour.



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Reply #4 on: March 12, 2008, 05:16:39 PM
I actually write a lot more at night than in the morning, because I've done everything I have to do and can concentrate on writing, instead of news or TV or email or anything else.  But then I can't really wind down afterward, so I end up staying up until midnight or 1 am.

I turned myself into a morning person by getting up at 530am every morning to exercise.  Do it often enough and it stops sucking QUITE so much.

The one thing that frustrates me about writing in the morning is that there's a definite time when the writing ends.  No matter how good it's going, my kid will still be up and asking for breakfast and all that.  OTOH, I don't have to worry about winding down, so it can lead into some cool stuff later on in the day, and I can pick up where I left off -- not quite as jazzed maybe, but sometimes, things I've written have had a little more time to sink into my subconscious.   

The other thing I hate about getting up in the mornings is that I feel like I'm walking around with a stormcloud in my brain (until the coffee finishes brewing, at least).


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Reply #5 on: April 27, 2008, 06:41:29 AM
In my opinion, the easiest way to find time to write is to bring it with you.  I do this two ways.

1) I carry a little note pad with me.  I find a few minutes here and there to work on a section of the story, then I patch the pieces together like a quilt later.

2) I do all my writing in Google Doccuments.  It's free and it means that anywhere with a computer I can work on my stuff.  A few free minutes at work, and I can hack out a chapter or do some editing.


jodymonster

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Reply #6 on: April 28, 2008, 06:24:32 AM
I also sacrifice sleep in favor of writing.  I do it right before I go to bed, every night, and if I miss a night (only happened twice this year) I feel guilty about it. 
I'm a bit of a compulsive writer, too- I always have a notebook, and I write in between customers (I'm a hostess+cashier by day), while I'm eating, and pretty much any other time I can squeeze it in.  Sometimes all I have time for in these stolen moments is one line of dialogue or a phrase I like, which can be very frustrating.  I (like many others here I'm sure) would love more than anything to write all day, everyday (with some reading thrown in, for balance). 
I prefer writing at night to morning.  The house is quieter, and the phone doesn't ring.  More often then not I fall asleep with my head still half in the story I'm working on, which I find helpful because sometimes a solution will come to me in that very relaxed, almost dreaming stage.

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CammoBlammo

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Reply #7 on: April 28, 2008, 12:40:53 PM
More often then not I fall asleep with my head still half in the story I'm working on, which I find helpful because sometimes a solution will come to me in that very relaxed, almost dreaming stage.


That's quite interesting --- my best stories have come to me in dreams. I had a particularly prolific night recently. I ended up getting out of bed and putting four separate ideas into my 'Ideas' file. One was a simple scenario that just needs exploring. Another was an alternative ending to the Star Wars 'Revenge of the Sith.'

One was a little more bizarre: I had the dream early in the night, but in the dream I thought the whole thing was story worthy. In my dream I knew I was dreaming and I committed the 'moral of the story' to memory somehow. When I awoke all I remembered was that single phrase, and the nature of the protagonist. It's a good place to start.

When I was in my first year of high school I had to write a story as an assignment one weekend. As it happened, I had a pretty cool dream that sort of fit the criteria. So I wrote it down and handed it in. The next day the teacher asked me where I had copied it from.

I just wish I could write that well when I'm awake!



wintermute

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Reply #8 on: April 28, 2008, 02:51:46 PM
This has been floating around the webs for the last few days.

The short answer to "where do people find the time?" seems to be "by not watching TV."

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Troo

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Reply #9 on: April 28, 2008, 03:21:38 PM
The short answer to "where do people find the time?" seems to be "by not watching TV."

Add "Stop playing MMO's" to that and I'll be sorted.

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jrderego

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Reply #10 on: April 28, 2008, 04:55:45 PM
This has been floating around the webs for the last few days.

The short answer to "where do people find the time?" seems to be "by not watching TV."


Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner!!!! (at least in my case). Though I will stop everything to watch The Red Sox, or the premier of a new Spongebob cartoon.

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Heradel

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Reply #11 on: April 28, 2008, 06:18:41 PM
Clay Shirky recently gave a talk about how much time can be freed up by not watching TV on a civilization-level scale: http://www.herecomeseverybody.org/2008/04/looking-for-the-mouse.html
« Last Edit: April 28, 2008, 06:20:45 PM by Heradel »

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wintermute

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Reply #12 on: April 28, 2008, 06:20:32 PM
Clay Shirky recently gave a talk about how much time can be freed up by not watching TV on a human scale: http://www.herecomeseverybody.org/2008/04/looking-for-the-mouse.html
Yeah, that's the one I was referencing, via the Nielsen Haydens.

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Nobilis

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Reply #13 on: April 28, 2008, 11:54:45 PM
This has been floating around the webs for the last few days.

The short answer to "where do people find the time?" seems to be "by not watching TV."


Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner!!!! (at least in my case). Though I will stop everything to watch The Red Sox, or the premier of a new Spongebob cartoon.

For me, it's Doctor Who and Torchwood.  Now if I can just get over my Mass Effect addiction, I'll be just fine.



Heradel

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Reply #14 on: April 29, 2008, 12:09:44 AM
Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner!!!! (at least in my case). Though I will stop everything to watch The Red Sox, or the premier of a new Spongebob cartoon.

For me, it's Doctor Who and Torchwood.  Now if I can just get over my Mass Effect addiction, I'll be just fine.

Same for me, minus Mass Effect and plus BS:G and the Tudors.

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Reply #15 on: April 29, 2008, 01:12:42 AM
This has been floating around the webs for the last few days.

The short answer to "where do people find the time?" seems to be "by not watching TV."


Rats. I'm mostly using that one already.  About the only TV I watch on a regular basis is Lost on DVD, done while folding laundry with my wife.   

I mostly stay up late to write.  It's not an ideal situation, but there are just too many family and work-essential things going on before about 10:00 PM or 10:30 PM.


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