Monday, December 23, 2013

Making Time for Writing

This blog post is almost as much a self-reminder as it is general advice.  Writers must make time for writing.  And that time must be consistent and frequent.

You see, I’m in the final two and a half months of school and am working on my master’s final research project.  I wanna get ‘r done!  And, in doing so, I’ve abandoned my fiction writing for a couple weeks now.

The longer I’m away from my fiction, the longer it takes to work my way back in to it.  If I’m disengaged, I need to find a way to re-engage.  And in those disengaging and re-engaging stages, I waste a lot of time that could be better spent pounding on the keyboard and writing the stories that parade around in my head.

If a writer is going to have meaningful output and (hopefully) make a career out of writing, then the writer needs to schedule in some regular writing time.  This could be in the few minutes between classes at school, on your coffee breaks at work, late at night when the kids are in bed, or any other time that the writer can find a string of minutes in quiet solitude.  For if a writer is hoping to make a career out of it, then the writer needs to treat writing as a job, and not as a hobby.  You can put hobbies away when you’re too busy and when you’re not feeling the right inspiration -- but you can’t put your job away just because things aren’t 100% optimal.

So as I enter into the thickest part of my research, the part in which I transcribe hours of interviews and piece together a 35-page report, I have to remind myself to make some space for writing.  Not only do I need to stay in writing mode and continue to create hot stories, but I also find writing to be a natural stress reliever and an enjoyable way to spend an hour or two -- and that is something I will definitely need over the next couple months.


So have fun and keep writing!  (And merry Christmas!)

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Cameron D. James is a lover of books, coffee, chocolate, and cute Starbucks baristas.  He is the author of the Carnal Passions book Autumn Fire.  To find out more about Cameron and his fiction, please visit www.camerondjames.com.

2 comments:

Julie Eberhart Painter said...

I think you are wrong about trying to write while finishing your Master's Thesis (I'm assuming that's what you are doing.)

Writer's don't forget how to write, we just need to prime the pump after a long arid period.

When you restart, mind free of school, read your latest WIP from the beginning. If you are tempted to edit a little just do it. By the time you arrive at the place you left off, you'll be full of ideas and enthusiasm. (Writing is a gene; wear it.)

Nikki said...

I have to agree with Julie, Cameron. Sometimes life takes precedence. If you're cramming your writing into the interstices of everything else, you're not giving it the attention and care it deserves. It may become just another chore, like folding laundry while the cookies bake. Or you'll burn out entirely on the project, or even do less than your best on your thesis. None of these scenarios is attractive.

You can go back to the writing when the heavy pressure eases. And as Julie says, you'll come to it with fresh eyes and energy. An alternative would be to set aside an afternoon once or twice a week to write, so you can keep your hand in and then return to the thesis refreshed.

Good luck with the thesis!