“People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but *actually* from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint – it’s more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly… time-y wimey… stuff.” – The Doctor (in “Blink,” one of the creepiest episodes ever of Doctor Who)
So, what does time have to do with writing? Looking at blog entries, discussion threads, social media postings, and emails I’ve received the past few weeks, everything.
The writers of these blogs, participants in discussions, posters on social media sites, and senders of emails wonder how authors manage to keep up with their own blogs; post on others’ blogs; edit their about-to-be-published books; market their already-published books, whether through real or virtual interviews, readings, signings, conferences, social media postings; and still produce a book (or more) a year.
I share their puzzlement.
I would love to be able to say that the only ones who can juggle their time so effectively and efficiently are single, child-free, and either independently wealthy or have received seven-figure advances that free them from the necessity of a day job. But I can’t say it, because it’s not true. Many have kids, spouses, day jobs, hobbies, lives, and still manage to accomplish all the tasks described in the second paragraph.
All the advice – get up early, stay up late, always carry a notebook and pen to jot down ideas, keep a time log so you can schedule writing time in between Game of Thrones and reruns of M*A*S*H – sound great on paper, but . . . ah, yes, the ever-present “but.”
The only butt around here is the one I’m sitting on while watching (and reading) Game of Thrones and reruns of M*A*S*H.
I have spent almost four weeks on above-mentioned butt, nursing a bum knee following arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus. On sick leave. No carpool duties. No housework (not that I ever do it anyway). No errands. Plenty of time to catch up on TiVo and DVDs and books and writing. And I did three of the four. What didn’t I do? Write.
I’ve no excuse. My laptop (despite a balky touchpad), fingers, brain, and imagination were all in working order. They didn’t wince every time I took a step. So why didn’t I take advantage of my free time?
Actually, I’ve lots of excuses: brain fog from pain killers, difficulty sleeping, post-op fatigue, it’s hard to concentrate on my writing when I’m at home. But they’re just excuses, and not very good ones. I took pain killers for 3 days. I’m sleeping better, not to mention falling asleep on the couch. The op was a month ago. And I was cleared to drive ten days ago (and, in fact, am currently sitting in Starbucks).
It’s trite to say that if you want something done, give it to the busiest person you know. It’s trite because it’s repeated so often. It’s repeated so often because it’s true. There is something energizing about being busy, and enervating about doing nothing.
So, my self-prescribed solution: get busy. Finish that book about Chanukah trivia. Stop rewriting the opening pages of Yom Killer and start writing the following chapters. Organize all the potential marketing sources for Unleavened Dead. Click the links on all those archived blogs and add comments. Actually develop all those ideas I have for this blog.
And I will do all of those things. After a nap.