This week I’m trying something a little different. Since I’m just editing at the moment and there isn’t so much to report, I thought I’d ask a few of my blogging inclined friends to write me a little something about writing.
First up is Matt: Dad, film maker, teacher, roleplayer and all round funny guy. He has been making impressive word counts by finding time to write an hour a day. I am jealous. Here he discusses writing time, making it versus finding it.
I’m a high school teacher and therefore I have a lot of holidays. This is a fact that I adore. There are many aspects of being a high school teacher that are difficult and taxing. Lots of holidays is not one of them.
When I’m on holiday I tend to revive my long term interest in two things – reading and writing. I read very little during term time, maybe a few novels a year that my classes are studying, a few short stories, lots of blogs and internet junk, but not a lot. The summer holidays are a strong contrast, with reading for pleasure becoming once again a daily activity.
Writing for pleasure usually surfaces as well, though not necessarily as a daily thing.
A couple of years ago I participated in Kiwinowrimo, attempting to write 50,000 words in a month. It was fun, I’m someone who responds well to deadlines, and I got it done. Some days I had to get up at 6am and do a chunk of writing before going to work, but it was worth it. I was excited to get up and get back to writing as the project (a teen novel) built momentum.
I get up at 5am most days now, but my morning is less literary and more block-stacking, dancing around to Yo Gabba Gabba, and child-ticklingerary. It’s incredibly rewarding and awesome but isn’t, as far as I can see, furthering my writing.
This school holidays I’ve had the good fortune to find a lot of free time for writing. My son Dominic has a nap every morning for about two hours, and both my wife and I use this time to write (as well as drink tea, do occasional chores, and make lunch). It’s been a real pleasure to be writing every day again. This found time stuff is great.
It’s going to stop on Monday. When I’m back at school teaching there’ll be no handy down-time to write in. I’m going to have to make time, which is a harder proposition. I’m going to have to sacrifice lying down watching TV in bed time in order to sustain momentum. That doesn’t sound like a big deal but at the end of a hard day’s playing with Dom, teaching, playing with Dom, eating delicious dinner and getting ready for bed it’s tempting to give in to my lazy impulses.
I can’t get up early to write. 5am is early enough for me. If I’m going to make time to write it’s evening time I need. I probably don’t need much to feel like I’m keeping the current project simmering away – maybe half an hour a day? That sounds easy. Easy peasy.
Ask me how it’s going when the essay marking starts rolling in again.
(Look forward to more writing related blog posts by guests in the future!)