Dear Artists: Declutter Or Else!

January 27, 2016

How To Edit A First Draft of Anything

January 27, 2016

No Time To Write? Have An Affair

January 27, 2016

[*5,000 points if you can identify 1. this “have an affair” related photo and 2. the other, world’s-best-movie it inspired]

Three (exciting) things lead to this (kind of weird) blog post.

One – I started a new job last week (!!!) that has me in a writers room working for much of the day. This is the first time I’ve spent that much time away from my own writing in 2+ years, and it happens to be falling when I have 2+ other projects on my plate.

Two – Because of this new job I’ve been commuting and listening to an audio book to stay sane. That book is Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, which is about living a productive creative life without fear and/or insanity. It’s a good listen, for more reasons than the fact that it inspired this blog post. Sometimes Elizabeth whispers with an intensity that reminds me of that really annoying girl from high school that could just feel everything way more than the rest of the world – you know? – but that girl was me so I’ll forgive her.

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Three – The PRINT EDITION of my YA novel Dead Ringer came out on Monday, and I was reminded that I wrote that book during the same four month period that we raised our puppy aka the least amount of focused time I’ve had in my life.

DEADRINGERPrint

 

But complete shameless plug aside:

I do a lot of complaining about finding time to write. I don’t just need hours to actually put fingers to keyboard, I need hours to settle into a quiet space…hours to find parking at said quiet spaces…hours to ensure my space at home is clean enough to provide enough focus when I can’t find parking where I wanted to write…hours to brainstorm what exactly I will focus on once I’m seated…hours for my eyes to glaze over while looking at DIY decor ideas on Pinterest because that’s just how my brain is conditioned to relax now, okay? In the words of R, I am a delicate flower.

According to Elizabeth Gilbert I’m thinking of my writing like a guy I’m trying to avoid sleeping with instead of a lover I’d drop everything to *#!@ for 15 minutes.

To be clear, I’ve never had affair, but I’ve seen the 3rd season of Sex & The City 127 times, so I know how it goes.

carrie-big-affair-main

 

When you are having an affair you’ll find time where there is no time. You’ll schedule lunches that don’t exist and doctor’s appointments you don’t have. You’ll cancel plans with friends that weren’t that important to begin with. You’ll sacrifice sleep. You’ll sacrifice meals. You’ll sacrifice making the sex spot perfect/clean/convenient/flush with parking/near a coffee shop because it doesn’t matter anyway. You will steal fifteen minutes in a public bathroom if that’s what it takes.

To be clearer: I am not endorsing having an affair. I am suggesting you see your writing (or any creative endeavor) through that same steamy lens.

For the past week I’ve had to take my minutes where I can steal them. I will confess that did not start with me looking upon my laptop as if it is Oscar Isaac (sorry R, but I do think you look more like him than not). It started with me slugging to the screen dreading opening my document because I was sure that the time/space/parking/coffee would not be conducive to my best work. And I didn’t have my new white and rose gold noise canceling head phones.

But somehow some work got done, and that was – for awkward use of a theme-related word – sexy. The next day I thought about that quickie and wanted some more.

Aanndd you get the picture.

Try it and report back. I’ll do the same, but don’t mind if the blog posts come just once a week for a little bit. I’m cheating on you, but I promise it’s for a good cause.

 

1 comment

  1. I really enjoyed this humorous comparative post! I too struggle with finding the time to write, and even when there is a sliver of time, I always come up with excuses that allow me to avoid that scary blank screen. However, when I do bite the bullet and drink up that extra writing time, I always find myself thirsty for more!

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