Sunday, April 12, 2009

On Finding Time to Write

By Vikki Perry

As a business analyst with a software company, I love my job. No day is ever exactly the same. The job provides me with endless challenges, money to pay my bills, and a steady stream of character traits for my writing. (Like the Oracle of Corporate Speak. I have no story for him at this time so feel free to steal if you would like to.) What my job doesn’t provide me with is time to write. This is very frustrating for me as a person who wants to write constantly. Unfortunately, barring an unexpected lottery win or selling my book for a six figure deal, I don’t think I am going to get more time to write (not without sacrificing my ability to pay my bills).

That means I’m faced with choices about how to find the time to write.

Bad option: Wait patiently for the lottery win before pursuing my dream.

Good option: Write whenever I have a free moment.

I can always find five minutes to write something. The first paragraph of a blog entry. A character description. The next sentence in my novel.

Bad option: Wait until I retire before I write.

Good option: Start now.

If I had a nickel for every time that I’ve heard the phrase “I’ll write a book someday,” I could pay off my mortgage, which would put me much closer to the goal of writing full time.

Bad Option: Sitting paralyzed in front of the computer not writing anything.

Good option: Write bad prose when good prose won’t come.

The muse comes to those who are working. My muse is very fickle. She trots away for vacation in a warm sunny place during the depths of winter. She searches for cool mountain air to escape the heat and humidity of a South Carolina summer. I have to drag her back to Columbia by letting my fingers roll across the keyboard. Soon she’s back to work and good sentences are pouring onto the page.

You see, I can’t stop working at my “real” job, but I also can’t stop writing. The urge to create and to allow the characters that exist in my head to exist on the page is too strong. I have always loved to write, and I believe that if you truly love something, you will find time to do it.

What is stopping you from starting now? Your kids? Your job? Your spouse? I can tell you a dozen stories of writers who have become very successful while juggling very full lives. Think about what you do each day. I bet you can find time to do at least a little bit of writing.

1 comment:

Laura Valtorta said...

Vikki, I agree. Write now, write often. Another necessity -- frequent exercise. It clears the brain.