Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Too Much Time

Copyright Namco.  Source

If you’re a writer and you don’t have a big sum of money in your bank account from a lotto win or sell enough books to cover the bills, chances are that you have to work for a living (or raise kids, which is, from what I’ve heard, more work than work).

Probably, if you fit into the above category, you’ve wished more than once that you had more time to write (rather than squeezing in some writing time before you go to bed or on your way to work).  As someone who’s had that, let me tell you, it’s not as wondrous as it may seem.

Before I go on with that, let me ask you this.  What would you say is the most important habit of a creative?

The answer of many (and a common agreement, I think) is solitude.  The ability to seclude yourself and use that time to reach into yourself and pull something out.  Being alone makes you think.  Maybe another important aspect is that you should be doing nothing.  A writer once said that you should spend four hours every day either writing or doing nothing (writhing on the floor counts as that, apparently).  You need time to think.

I’m sure you’ve all noticed that grieving people often like doing things in order to stop thinking about things.  You, as a creative, need to do the opposite.

Now, to my other point.  I spent around a year trying to find a job while studying part time.  The idea was to write during this gap of time.  I did.  Write, I mean.  But it was hard.  I struggled to find good ideas and spent hours pacing.  At the end of the day, I would have maybe 1500 words.  Which is not bad, but in my mind, because I’ve spent an alleged 8+ hours on it, it was pretty bad.

I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a professional writer who spends all day writing (except maybe John Creasy).  They use a part of the day (say, morning ‘till noon) to write, and the rest to answer mail, play with the kids and/or read.

When you have too much solitude, the silence becomes deafening, and you can’t hear a thing the world/your muse/your imagination is trying to tell you.

Ever since I’ve gotten a job, I’ve been pretty busy, between that and studying (and maintaining my three weekly blog posts), I haven’t had much time to write.  But ideas flow more freely and everything seems better to me.

When your mind is spinning with ideas and experiences, your solitude has meaning.  If I can make an allegory, weekends don’t have the same yay-factor when you don’t have to go to work or school during the five weekdays.

Maybe it’s just me, but I think it makes sense.


  1. I write best when my life is busy, busy. I also have to write in the middle of the night when nobody is bugging me. Can't wait for the kiddo to go to school all day... :)

    1. I wish I could write in the middle of the night, but I mostly just fall asleep then.