Saturday, June 2, 2012

Balancing Work and Writing

I have to admit that I am not a full time writer, though there are times that I think I would like to be one.  Given that I am still in the process of writing my series, I still have to pay the bills in someway.  So, since I must work and take care of my family and dogs, I have to find the time to write.  Thankfully I have a husband that supports me, usually, as long as the house isn't falling apart while I'm in my writing cave.  Yet, even with the support of my family, I still have to find a few precious hours here and there to focus on my writing and get my words down on paper.

In previous blogs I have mentioned that you have to make time for yourself if you want to write.  Even though I am committed to my project, there are days when I'm tired or cranky or blocked, yet I don't give up.  I don't allow myself to forget what my goal is and why I'm doing this.  I'm not doing this for fame and fortune, though I wouldn't threw it away, but I'm writing because I like my characters and want to bring them to life.  It's that goal that makes me sit down once everyone is in bed and write for a few hours before I pass out.  Granted it's easier when inspiration is driving me crazy and nagging at me to type faster and get all my ideas down, but even when I'm not motivated, I still have to get things done.

I ask you, after a commute to and from work, after being yelled at by your boss or having trouble with your co-workers and dealing with customers, and then coming home, making dinner, stopping all the unnecessary sibling fights, do you want to sit down and write, probably not?  What I find most helpful is thinking about what I want to write during my spare moments in the day.  I love talking things out in the car, while making dinner, taking a long shower, but I have to find the energy to sit down at night and work.  There are weeks were I'm too stressed to concentrate but then I look forward to the weekend.  I steal any time that I can during those two days to kick the crap out of my keyboard and jam as much into the computer as I can.  For example, last weekend I added a scene to Book 1 that helps with an emotional response that I found was originally lacking.  I realized my character never really accepted that she loved the hero, or in this case, the anti-hero.  By adding a few paragraphs, I was able to show an important emotion that will balance out the story.  It took a few hours to re-work until I was happy, but it was well worth it and it didn't take weeks to write.  I also came up with a kick-butt opening to Book 6.  Something I didn't even know I had in me.

Balancing out your life is never an easy thing, no matter what your interests or responsibilities are, but it's important that you don't lose sight of your goals.  We are constantly kicking Thing 1 in the butt about what goals he should be setting in his life, goals for 1 year, 5 years, 10 years.  It's important to set realistic goals with your writing so that work and life won't overtake your passion.  Even if you get stalled for a week or two, don't just walk away and let your project sit around collecting dust.  If you are passionate enough about what you do and the story you are writing, you will learn to make the time alotted, work for you.  It may take a day, a month or a year to finish what you started, but don't let anything get in the way of your dream, even if it's bills.  If you want something badly enough, you will find a way.

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