You know how some people think that life happens, and other people think that you make your life? I’m that second kind of person. Tragedies aside, I think most people pretty much get the life they make.
That’s why it’s especially problematic that I have not been making time to write. When I do write, it’s great (not necessarily what’s written, but the process itself), and it seems like the only thing better than actually writing is having written. Such satisfaction.
However, it appears that walking the pugs, commuting, working, doing housework/laundry, watching TV, painting and furnishing my office, reading, and even writing this blog are all more important to me than writing fiction. Because every time I do one of those other things when I could be writing, I am choosing. And I am doing it over and over and over. Augh.
But it’s not like I’m choosing ice cream over brussels sprouts. Or having a massage instead of getting beaten. Sometimes I’m picking cleaning the toilet over writing. So bizarre.
Evidently, I am not alone. Just google “making time to write” and see how many entries pop up (that’s right, 803 million). Most of them are motivational: you can do it! you’re worth it! Many are helpful, time-management-oriented: rise each morning at 4:30 a.m. for two hours of uninterrupted writing time before your little children wake up. One was pretty funny: John Scalzi has no patience for all the whiners:
But if you want to be a writer, than be a writer, for god’s sake. It’s not that hard, and it doesn’t require that much effort on a day to day basis. Find the time or make the time. Sit down, shut up and put your words together. Work at it and keep working at it. And if you need inspiration, think of yourself on your deathbed saying “well, at least I watched a lot of TV.” If saying such a thing as your life ebbs away fills you with existential horror, well, then. I think you know what to do.
I gotta say, I actually agree with John. I’d like the perfect writing life… defined as enough time to write three to five hours a day while enjoying the other hours in the day and getting enough sleep. But I don’t have that and I won’t have it for quite some time, so I’ll have to do my best. Without whining.