Questions for Writers

Ever heard of a busman’s holiday

Monday through Friday I read, re-write, edit, research, and write – rinse and repeat – all day long at my day job. When I get home in the evenings, I oftentimes have very little energy or motivation to open a book or sit down with my laptop to work on a project. In fact, in my down time I can be hard pressed to stare at any illuminated screen or printed page.

And yet, as a writer who wants to ramp up her own creative projects, I have to carve out time to work on my stories, and know I should be well-read with regards to current (and classic) material in my genre (such as the latest children’s best-sellers or Anne Lamott’s latest — here she talks about her reading habits). And then there’s researching the market, preparing for submittals, updating social media, making new friends here on WordPress, cooking, cleaning, laundry, and so on.

As with anything, I guess it’s a matter of managing my time and prioritizing my projects. Hence, the title of a previous post: Time to get Busy.

But I’m wondering – how do other working writers include writing into their daily/weekly lives? Do you find it important to read material germane to your publishing interests? If so, how often do you do this?

If you have a day job that gets in the way of completing your nebulous sci-fi thriller, how do you schedule your off-time to work on it? Weekly goals? Weekends? Word count goals? Scheduled deadlines? One or two nights a week? Early mornings?

What motivates you to work on the craft?

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Questions for Writers

  1. I have word count goals, smaller for weekdays and a bit more ambitious for the weekend. I also tend to like writing in the evenings, and if it’s going well I sometimes stay up too late! I often have a short nap when I get home from work so that I’m able to stay up a little later working. I think it helps for me that my day job isn’t very creative, so I get to save all that for my own projects.

    • Thanks for the feedback. I generally try to write/finish a scene or chapter without much thought to word count, but I might start tracking that as well to get a better grasp of progress.

  2. I’ve struggled with this for several years. I try to write in the evening, but that’s only after working out, cooking dinner, doing the dishes, and general decompressing. By then it’s an hour before bed, and I’m EXHAUSTED. Finally I had to set deadlines for myself to complete chapters of my book. I then made a bet with my partner that if I didn’t meet each deadline, I have to give up a certain number of books. Talk about motivation! I take those deadlines seriously now. You can do it differently, but it helps to 1.) set deadlines/or goals (like Meghan’s word count goal) and 2.) make an agreement with someone that creates accountability. My partner makes similar bets where he has to pay me $50 if he doesn’t meet a deadline. That’s a chunk of money for both of us. Make it hurt, and that will give you a good kick in the rear. Now, I find time in the morning before work, lunch hour, and evening before bed for writing.

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