An answer to my appeal

This weekend I was planning to make an appeal to my friends and followers through this blog for help with finding time to write. But, as if by mental telepathy, Wordserve Water Cooler blog posted answering exactly the question I was about to ask. The information in it really put things into perspective.

Recently my writing life has taken a bit of a backseat. Sidestepping redundancy, finding new long-term work, boosting my fitness (after a slightly unpleasant chat with my GP) and catching up with poor abandoned friends has left me exhausted with little time for writing. The few sessions I have managed have been great, so it’s not that I can’t or don’t want to write, it’s feeling like I don’t have the time and head space.

I knew I should have time to write but just couldn’t work out what the time-drain was. I created myself a spreadsheet and a pie chart showing how much time I spend a day doing things like working, sleeping, travelling, etc and was left with a 5-hour period of ‘spare’ time. So, where was this time going?

Then I read Anita Agers-Brooks’ post and it all clicked into place. In it she advises writers to invest wisely by treating their day job with respect but her second point brought me up short – watch less television and write more. Do I really watch television for 5 hours a day? I sincerely hope not! But I have developed a habit of coming home from work and flopping in front of the television. So this means I should have time to go running, cook and eat dinner, and find time to put in an hour or so of scribbling as well as a bit of chilling out.

So, my pledge from here on is to make best use of the TV guide with my weekend newspaper to decide which programmes I absolutely do not want to miss (or treat myself to a digital television recorder) and keep the television off at all other times. I’m not sure how well it’ll go, but hopefully it’ll soon become a great habit!

What are your thieves of time and how do you get away from them? Please do leave your comments below or tweet me @lmmilford

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One thought on “An answer to my appeal

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  1. Firstly, ouch at the unpleasant chat with your GP. I understand that chat with fitness. We once had a fitness guy at work who told me I wouldn’t live to see my son get married if I didn’t change my ways. A bit extreme I think but a wake up call none the less.

    As for writing, again I understand this. What writer with a full time job doesn’t! And like you I found TV a big time suck. And now having nearly finished the A to Z challenge, I can say, some of my own motivation. (I’ll post about that when it’s finished.)

    I have dropped several TV programmes from my viewing. I am obsessed with US dramas. But as a writer my argument is I’m watching them for plot and structure! – and since taking writing more seriously I actually am. But I do have sky plus so I record all programmes and watch them when I decide, not when the TV dictates. That means I get to write when I feel I will get on with it better. Sometimes straight in the door from work. Others two hours before bed. But then when I’m watching the programmes I’ve deemed I still can’t miss (and there are a few) I fast forward through the adverts and this cuts viewing time down to 40-45 minutes not an hour. It’s worked brilliantly.

    Briefly – knowing I have to churn out a piece every day, with no option, I signed up for it and its public unlike NaNo, I’ve found routine for sitting at my desk in front of my laptop and that will now continue after next week when it ends. I’ll blog regularly but not 7 days a week but I’ve created a habit and I’m so glad I have. It actually feels good and workable.

    So, for me – you do need recordable TV in order to choose when you watch and cut viewing time down. And make a routine. It’s funny how quickly it embeds in.

    Wishing you luck.

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