Thursday, December 12, 2013

Does It Count As Writing If It's Not On My Novel?

Life gets a little hectic sometimes.  I'm sure we can all say that.  But something that has really cleared up some writing time for me is, and I know this isn't news to anyone, not watching so much TV.  I know intellectually that this is true, but the lure of coming home from a job where I'm paid to think all day, putting on my pajamas, and vegetating in front of the telly is so attractive sometimes that I just give in.  The irony is that, when I do this, I both get less accomplished and also get less sleep.  I can't go to bed until this show ends.  Oops, got interested in the next one.  Well, if I get to bed by 10pm, that's still okay.  Darn, I really like the show coming on next.  Eh, I can take a nap when I get home from work.  How do I nap best?  In front of the tube.  And the cycle continues.  

What's the answer?  Pretty simple, really.  I don't turn on the stupid thing when I get home.  I fool myself.  I know that by saying it out loud I should be able to catch me at it, but I just keep slipping it past me.  I say to myself that if I get the work done that I have set aside for the evening, then I can go watch for a bit.  It's like the old do-your-homework-before-you-may-watch-TV trick that parents have been using for decades, except I'm doing it to myself and I'm happy to report that I fall for it every time.  And the best part is that I almost never end up going down to the basement at all because I invariably find something better to do when my work is done, like a good book or even just going to bed early.  So, aside from keeping the dishwasher emptied and the cat litter cleaner and the laundry kept up and all the other domestic chores that I never seemed to have time for before, I'm not continually behind on grading, and, best of all, I actually am finding time to write.

That brings up the question referenced in the title.  Because I do have to grade quite a few papers, I only have an hour or so to write on most days--if I'm lucky--and, frankly, I'm not always feeling the novel.  I have nothing compelling to say about Harry and Dee tonight, but I might have a poem in me, and I really wanted to get this blog off my mind before it burned a hole in the back of my head and ruined my best sweater.  So, my fellow writers, is writing writing?  I know of a lot of authors who say that they have a goal of so many words or pages a day or per week.  Does that only mean on their primary project at the time and anything else is gravy?  Or is writing a well-crafted blog post or a heartfelt poem about my salad days just as noble and worthy of being counted as my writing for the day?  

I know there aren't any rules on this except those we impose on ourselves.  I'm just curious how some other folks feel and what you do.  I love to write.  I just don't always love to write the novel I'm currently working on.  Many nights I do, but sometimes, like tonight, I want to do something else.  And I'm okay with that.      

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