I’m not a full time writer. I do many things throughout the day, none of which are even remotely related to writing. Sometimes I stay in bed until noon and browse around on my phone while my cat alternates between sleeping on my pillow and meowing in my face. Sometimes I sit and stare into space and wonder what I should do, if only my to do list wasn’t so long. Sometimes I’ll go out into the living room and just sit on the couch and watch whatever television show my roommates are watching. It’s probably Desperate Housewives, which means I’ll sit there for a few hours getting sucked into nonsensical drama. And then next thing you know, it’s ten o’clock at night, a perfect combination of too late to do anything productive and too early to yet go to sleep.
Those, of course, are days when I have nothing to do, or rather, I have many things to do, none of which are appealing. But now, I recently started a full time job (not writing related), on a television show, and so now massive amounts of my time are sucked out every day. I wake up early, get to work a few minutes late, get a swab stuck up my nose for COVID testing, and then run around the rest of the day doing mostly productive things. And now that all my time is gone, I have to actively search for time to do other things, like writing.
It’s quite strange. Now, I only need a few minutes there, a few minutes here. I’ll think of a good line or two and jot it down, or not, and keep developing it in my head. Then when I have a break, I can dash off a few hundred words because I’ve already shopped it. And now that I’m busy, I just get more stuff done. This has always been my pattern – the more I have to do, the more I get done. Perhaps it’s a momentum thing. Once I start, I just have to keep going. Whatever it is, it just shows that finding the time to be creative doesn’t have to come in huge chunks of time. Most days, I can only write for fifteen or twenty minutes, maybe thirty if I’m extra motivated. Even on days when I have more time, I find that after twenty minutes, my interest in the topic starts to dwindle and I start browsing Netflix once again.
So I took a short break because I lost interest and my train of thought after writing that first bit, and fell into a bit of a rabbit hole where I was reading about a murder in Chicago in which the intruders had broken into the apartment through the medicine cabinet into the bathroom, and you know what? The lesson here is in two parts: 1) real life is apparently crazier than anything I can make up, which means perhaps I spend too much time trying to tone down my more out there thoughts, and 2) Don’t take my advice on finding time to write, because evidently I’m not capable of being focused enough to even finish a blog post in one sitting.