By Dame Kaz
First of all, I need to announce the winner of Chloe Neill’s cool giveaway. Thanks to all the people who entered – what a great turn out! 🙂 Here is the winning number courtesy of Random.org:
Timestamp: 2009-10-06 13:54:43 UTC
That means the winner is:
Congrats, Wendy! Please email me directly: kaz[dot]mahoney at gmail[dot]com with your full name and mailing addres and I’ll forward your details to Chloe.
I am going to ramble a bit today, so please bear with me.
The thing is, with all the stuff going on in my life right now, I feel that I have NO time to write.
And then I reminded myself to go back and read Dame Jackie’s amazing post from a few weeks ago. If you haven’t read it, you really should. I don’t mind if you want to go do that now – I’ll wait…
Okay, did you read it? Did you find it inspiring? Did it give you the kick in the pants that you needed? Because it did all those things for me – and more! 😉
But it also got me thinking about how we’re all different. Each and every person approaches writing in a slightly different way. Even if it seems like our circumstances or our processes are similar we are still completely different in so many other ways, and this often includes our ability to sit down and get the writing done. It includes our tendency to procrastinate and how easily distracted we are (me = very easily distracted). And what about all those Real Life commitments?
I don’t want to repeat what Jackie said before (though a lot of it needs to be repeated because it is very sensible advice!), but I thought it might help me – and maybe a few others – to think about how to find more writing time in my own life. How to make more time or how to maximize the time I already have.
Right now I am:
– Working a Day Job
– Considering taking on a second Day Job
– Living in two places (with all the travelling in-between that entails)
– Looking for a new place to live
– Keeping up with email & online commitments (Deadline Dames, my LJ, other social networking)
– Coping (sort of) with a difficult situation in my personal life
– Writing (which includes revisions of a novel under contract; writing an entire sequel under contract; writing a 12,000-word story for an anthology, also under contract; and a side project I really want to write and sell.)
Notice how I put writing last on that list. Not good!
My mind is very scattered right now. Sometimes it feels as though the inside of my head reflects the scattered nature of my day-to-day existence. But despite all of this, writing is so very important to me. Without sounding all dramatic about it, it is one of the most important things I have ever done with my life. It’s the career I want for myself. It is the thing I love doing more than anything else – even when it’s hard. Well, okay, I don’t love it when it’s hard… but I still love the feeling of satisfaction I get from wrestling a particularly stubborn scene into submission. 😉
Yet at the moment, finding time to write feels like an almost impossible challenge.
Here is what I am going to do to try to find/make more time to write in my life. (If anyone wants to try this with me, go for it – let me know how you get on!)
– In the evening, if I only have one hour to do anything for myself, I will make that ‘thing’ writing even if that means I don’t update my blog. Even if that means emails go unanswered (um… unless those emails are from my agent or editor!). Even if I don’t have time to call my mum. *g*
– For the month of November I will pledge to do my own mini-version of NaNo, whereby I will write 30,000 words in that month. Those words can be on any project; on a combination of projects; and/or on project(s) that are already in progress. So this isn’t the ‘official’ NaNoWriMo by any stretch, but 30K is half a YA novel. And it’s only 1,000 words per day. That’s around 4 pages. I know I can do that, even with everything else grabbing at my attention. You can do that too. Join me!
– On my non-Day Job days, I will do my writing before I do anything else on my computer. I will allow myself to check email – quickly – for anything genuinely important, but then I will reply to everything else later. Writing comes first. Wait, maybe I should say that again:
Writing comes first.
This is actually a very difficult lesson for me to learn. I have always put other people, and other things, ahead of my own wants and needs. It’s something that I will never entirely be able to stop doing, because it’s a big part of what makes me who I am. I really do like to help people. I love to stay in touch with my friends and fellow writers.
But for the rest of this year I need to learn to put myself first, which means putting the writing first.
Who’s with me?