Thursday, April 10, 2014

When I Just Can't Find Time To Write

I'm sure I've addressed this issue before, but it's of significance lately. And no, it's not lost on me that I'm writing about the fact that I'm having trouble finding time to write. But this kind of writing is much less labor intensive to me than the process I go through to write fiction. Though sometimes I can finish a chapter in relatively short order, I often will struggle for days. And even after I've finished a first draft, that obviously doesn't mean I'm truly finished. When I come back to it a day or two later, I realize it's all wrong and, at best, requires major revision. At worst, it may need to be junked altogether in favor of another direction.

And unlike writing one of these, which are basically just spitting my thoughts out onto the page and then doing minor revisions for clarity and correctness, I find I'm just not one of those people who can write in short spurts throughout the day. Let me back up a bit and make clear that I'm not saying I don't put thought into a blog entry. It's just that this is a completely different, less emotionally intense, type of writing to me than fiction writing. To me, fiction is more soul-baring than this is. That may not make sense to some, but I'd be willing to bet that others who write short stories and novels will know exactly what I mean. Others may say that, since I find blogging easier than fiction writing, that I should consider trying to do that for a living instead. First of all, I have no idea how I would do that. Second, that something is easier is not an indication that it's the better choice. Just the opposite is true most of the time. The emotionally draining, time consuming, sometimes even soul-crushing process of creating a work of fiction, especially one as long and complex as a novel, is ultimately one of the most satisfying things I've ever done.

But back to the initial reason for this entry: I just don't seem to be able to find a way to write in my spare time. I need an established period of time--at least five or six hours at a shot--to write something of any quality. And I need that amount of time several times a week. Otherwise, my writing is choppy and lacking in continuity. But mainly, I just don't want to do it that way. I don't enjoy it and if I don't enjoy it, I'd rather do something else.

So it seems I have a couple of choices. I could write seasonally. I can, if I choose, not teach summer school and just concentrate on writing during that time. If I truly made writing my occupation from mid-June to mid-August, I really believe I could knock out a book a year. That's not a perfect choice because I would miss writing the rest of the year. Maybe blogging would suffice as fix enough to last me until summer. Maybe not. I could also, I suppose, take a leave of absence from my full-time job and concentrate on writing. Not eating or paying my bills could be a drawback, though. Similarly, I could make the leap and just quit my job in favor of pursuing a career in writing. Frankly, I don't think I have the guts to do that, considering that I haven't had even one piece published. Finally, I could continue to do what I'm doing, being aware of the fact that, like has been true of the last two weeks, there will simply be times when I don't have time to work on a book.

Or one of you could be my patron and pay me to be a writer. It worked in the Renaissance, so why not now? Any takers? Anyone? Oh well, I'll look for the check in the mail.

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