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May 15, 2008 / izanobu

Real Life Intrudes

My paying job, as I like to call it, is giving me plenty of extra hours lately. This is good on the whole paying for grad school front, but very bad on the whole editing three short stories and rewriting a novel front.

I worked a couple 61 hour weeks followed by food poisoning followed by a horrendous cold/fever. Needless to say, I’ve done very little writing in the last few weeks. Fortunately, I seem to work in binges, so hopefully as I feel better and my work schedule regulates, I’ll get more of the unpaid work (ie writing) in. I realize that many writers have full time jobs. I don’t think I could do it, however. Even working 36 hours a week takes a huge toll on my writing productivity and free time. I suppose for me it is a matter of priorities. I do tend to read a book a day (or every two or three days depending on length), as well as hang out with my husband and roomates and play videogames or watch DvDs. It’s about finding balance, as with anything in life.

Writing always seems to suffer first, however. I think that is because I really do require a certain amount of space and alone time to listen to the things in my head for the production of coherent stories and ideas. All work and no play, etc… I have three print outs full of comments on my stories as well as a word doc with comments from my online workshop readers. They are waiting for me to have the brain power and the time to deal with them.

I think I’m going to make a 500 a day rule until I am no longer working an extra 16 hours a week. 500 words of either revision or writing, every week day. It isn’t the two hours a day I was managing before, but with the extra days of work, I think this is a more reasonable expectation of myself. Hopefully this won’t last more than a month. Money is all well and good, but at 500 words a day, finishing a 100k word plus draft of a novel will take, well, forever. (Or actually 200 days, which might as well be forever and is certainly not going to get me to my goal of polished novel by Dec. 31st).

Time to go get those 500 words done before I have to leave for work.

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2 Comments

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  1. Jack H / May 19 2008 6:14 pm

    Solution: less blog, more slog. And cut out the video games.

    Oh, didn’t you want my advice? Sorry.

    J

  2. izanobu / May 20 2008 12:42 am

    Wow, defensive aren’t you? :)

    Thanks for the advice, but I do consider blogging a form of writing and find it useful to order my thoughts.

    Cutting video games would mean missing out on 90% of the social time I get to spend with friends, not to mention excluding me from and aspect of the culture in which my friends and I both participate.

    But thank you for the thought. I always appreciate advice, even if it isn’t useful for me personally it doesn’t hurt me to hear it or the giver to offer it.

    I’d appreciate you keeping the defensiveness to a minimum, however. That makes me wary of the advice, no matter how well meant.

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