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