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 What is the main reason you don't write more often?

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ccmalandrinos

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PostSubject: What is the main reason you don't write more often?   Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:46 am

One of the things that comes up all the time at conferences and in groups I belong to is writers not getting enough writing time. I've now given two workshops on this topic. What interferes with your writing time the most? As a time management and organization expert, I might be able to help.

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Devon Ellington

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PostSubject: Re: What is the main reason you don't write more often?   Mon Feb 14, 2011 9:13 am

If I want to eat, pay the bills, and keep a roof over my head, I sit down and write. No excuses. When it is how you make your living, it's amazing how focused you become. There's much more at stake.

People have to realize that there will never BE time -- you have to MAKE it, STEAL it, WRESTLE it, CAJOLE it, DEMAND it.

We all have 24 hours in the day. It's how we choose to spend them that defines us.

If you get into the habit of writing every day, even just for a few minutes, it becomes easier, you pick up the rhythm and the pace, and then you keep at it and the pages add up.
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ccmalandrinos

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PostSubject: Re: What is the main reason you don't write more often?   Mon Feb 14, 2011 10:14 am

Exactly. I'm struggling right now because this winter has affected me so bad, but I think this ghostwriting project I was hoping to work on is going to happen, so that will help. My day job--as much as I love it--doesn't leave a lot of time either, so I've had to train myself to write whenever I can.

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vrleavitt



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PostSubject: Re: What is the main reason you don't write more often?   Tue Feb 22, 2011 12:48 pm

Lack of deadline is definitely a reason. I am NOT making a living from my writing, so it's not crucial that I actually do it. BUT, I've started setting personal deadlines for myself. How do I enforce them? With imagination of course. If I don't meet a deadline, there might be snipers repelling down my walls and threatening me. Ok, probably not, but as writers, I think we all have to be really serious about our work. If we're not, why will anybody else be?

I've found, at least for me, another reason I don't write more is because I had it in my head that if I couldn't commit at least a three hour block of time to it, then there was no point. Of course, that's not true. Fifteen minutes every day better than wishing for that three hour chunk I know I'll never get, due to day job, child, soccer practice, cleaning, etc.

I'm curious to see what other people say.
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ccmalandrinos

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PostSubject: Re: What is the main reason you don't write more often?   Tue Feb 22, 2011 6:19 pm

I guess the question you need to ask yourself, Vanessa, is if you want to make a living from your writing. If you're happy at the job you're in and you don't feel the need to work toward something else, then what you're doing is fine. If, however, you want to shed the day job and write for a living, those deadlines have to become firm.

I'm glad you've found that 15 minutes works okay for you. As you know, I coordinate virtual book tours. It's a time consuming job, but luckily I love it. That doesn't leave a lot of writing time, so I am forced to sneak it in where I can. Today, I took the girls to the mall. Each February they set up a huge sandbox and make it like the beach. So, I brought the girls and a friend, and got about half an hour of writing in. That might be all I get for the next couple of days, but it's something. On Thursday, the girls have swimming lessons, so I'll bring my WIP again, and try to pound out some words. I try to avoid writing long-hand when I can, but it's easier for me to write that way when I'm out than lug my laptop around.

I'm curious, do you set writing goals for the year or no?

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PostSubject: Re: What is the main reason you don't write more often?   Tue Feb 22, 2011 7:01 pm

Hey Cheryl,

I would like to make a living with my writing, definitely. I don't love my day job, even so, I need it right now. It provides financial stability for now.

You hit the nail on the head though, the deadlines have to become firm, which is why I have started setting more of them, and really forcing myself to stick to them. That's also why the fifteen minutes a day works, because I can at least get a little in each day instead of nothing at all.

And yes, I actually do set writing goals and review them periodically. I try to set realistic ones, ones that I can measure, such as, enter x number of contests, etc. Obviously, I can't say, win 10 contests. Of course, I'd like to, but obviously there are some aspects of that goal I can't control. :-) Good call on the swim lessons. My daughter just started soccer so I plan on bringing either my netbook or a good old fashioned NOTEbook to get some more writing done.

I love your sandbox idea too. That sound like a bunch of fun. :-)

-V
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ccmalandrinos

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PostSubject: Re: What is the main reason you don't write more often?   Tue Feb 22, 2011 8:47 pm

I really have to make the most of every moment I get. During the winter I struggle with Seasonal Affective Disorder, so I can get a bit lazy. I've done much better this year, but the weather sure hasn't helped. I've had to pull up all the blinds and yank back the curtains to get enough light in here. I try to go outside a bit each day too or else I get a bit grumpy.

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PostSubject: Re: What is the main reason you don't write more often?   Wed Feb 23, 2011 9:48 am

Ugh...S.A.D. is awful. Our house in Virginia was positioned so the side with my office never got any light and it was a basement room so it was always cold and dark. Not conducive to doing much.

The move down here to Florida has definitely helped. Even when it got cold here, I didn't feel that bogged down feeling of "Will this never end?" Because even when it got down into the 30's it was never more than a day, and during the day it was still at least 50.

I hope the sun reaches you full time soon!
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PostSubject: Re: What is the main reason you don't write more often?   Thu Feb 24, 2011 7:56 am

Well, now when I drive Katherine to guitar lessons at 5:45 PM we still have a bit of light, so spring is coming. I just keep telling myself that.

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PostSubject: Re: What is the main reason you don't write more often?   Thu Feb 24, 2011 4:31 pm

Main reason I don't write more often?

1. I play around on the computer too much on forums and in facebook. heh!
2. Law Enforcement Officials object to me driving while using the laptop. Go figure ... Wink


Seriously, I write when I feel like it. To me, it is a pleasure. It is something I do for myself.

I do not set goals or deadlines. I won't turn it into an obligation or a job.

I don't write more often ... because I write just the right amount for me to be happy.
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ccmalandrinos

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PostSubject: Re: What is the main reason you don't write more often?   Thu Feb 24, 2011 6:34 pm

All that matters is that it works for you. If you were frustrated because you couldn't write more often, that would be one thing, but you sound like a happy elf.

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PostSubject: Re: What is the main reason you don't write more often?   Mon Feb 28, 2011 1:04 pm

What's the main reason I don't write more? Not enough hours in the day.

No, seriously. =) I can't jam pack-my day anymore without going bonkers. In a way, that's a great feeling. It means I'm putting the work in. I'm writing and I'm moving forward toward my goals. The one thing I have learned these past two months as I re-drafted my novel is how much I can actually write if I sit down and do it. This weekend I wrote 19,000 words in less than 9 hours. I would never have believed that was possible except I've continually seen myself write 3,500 words in three hours or less - even with a full-time job (no kids, though - that's one time battle I don't have).

In the end, I think it all comes down to a choice: why do you want to write? Is to put food on the table or are working towards that goal? Or are you writing for pure enjoyment? If it's the former, and you're serious about reaching that goal, then write. That's a realization I've slowly come too. Research and character studies are important, but they can't replace the actual writing. Now that I've changed my mindset I've got a book ready for a final review before it's past to my first reader....and then I'm publishing it. Scary and exciting and absolutely wonderful!
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PostSubject: Re: What is the main reason you don't write more often?   Tue Mar 01, 2011 10:37 pm

It's great that you're this close. I've certainly enjoyd watching your progress. I've always said that at some point you have to decide how much you want it.

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Devon Ellington

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PostSubject: Re: What is the main reason you don't write more often?   Wed May 18, 2011 1:52 pm

I think, ultimately, it comes down to how badly do you want to make a living with your writing?

There will never BE the time. You have to MAKE it.

Forest Girl makes enough time so that writing keeps her happy. That's great. It works for her, she's living the writing life she wants to live, and that's a good thing.

Other people say they "don't have time."

I make enough time so that I'm not only happy, but paying my bills. That's how badly I want it.

If you don't treat writing as your second job, it will not be your only job. You've got to put in the time, learn the CRAFT -- which is just as important as inspiration, stop making excuses, and get out of your own way.
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