Friday, 11 January 2013

Finding time by Bryony Pearce

Last week Katie talked about resolutions.  Mine go something like this  -

  • Lose weight (I have a party dress to get into in April and a book to launch in August and I’d like there to be a heck of a lot less of me by then).
  • Be a more patient mum (my son has just turned four, with the requisite testosterone surge – levels of testosterone in boys double at age four – and I’m finding that he is testing my patience at the moment)
  • Ring-fence my writing time.
 The problem with resolution three, is that I am a full time mum and the only real writing time I have is when the children are asleep or my son is doing his 15 hours at preschool.

I’ve already allocated one of those mornings to Slimming World (see resolution one), so the rest of this time HAS to go to writing.  
This means no more popping in to see friends for coffees, no more quick trips to the shops, no more housework (might need to revisit that one on occasion), no more doing the odd bit of unpaid work, no more agreeing to do ‘just one thing’ for people (I’m sure all writers know what that’s like – it’s not like we have real job anyway, is it?).  

Some of my writerly friends work in coffee shops.  I can see how that would help.  I never felt the need to stop work and pick up a hoover when I worked in an office, i.e. out of the house.  I have places near me that are equivalent (there is a pub with free wi-fi and of course there’s the library), but I don’t think they would work for me.  What if a friend came in?  I would be easily distracted by life, chatting away my writing time.

So I have to work from home, with my blinkers on so I don’t see the mess.  

Some friends do things like set timers which allocate them chunks of time in which they have to write.  I’d find that annoying – I’d spend the whole time checking the timer instead of writing.

Word counts don’t work for me either.  I never, ever word count at the end of each day – I would find it depressing, distracting and unproductive.  I’d always rather write one perfect paragraph, or even sentence than one thousand words that all need cutting at the editing stage anyway.

So my most important resolution is that my writing time is my writing time.  If I don’t write I get very grumpy (impacting on resolution two), so this year I won’t be taking on anything more that will bite into those precious minutes.  I’m going to be a focused writing MACHINE.  I may even start getting up an hour early so I can fit some in before school (I said MAY).  

I have edits to come on The Weight of Souls and I am determined to get Wavefunction finished by summer.  

What are your writing resolutions?