One of the biggest challenges writers face is finding the time to write, while still juggling their butt-numbing day job and butt-numbing personal life. At least, I think it is. I don’t know any other writers. I should say, one of the biggest challenges *I* face, is finding time to write, whilst still being able to watch two episodes of The Wire per evening. (I’m on a strict schedule).
Well, it ain’t easy… but it can be!
It all depends on when and where you write. I think I’m lucky, I can write anywhere – at home, in bed, at a loud bar, in a douchey coffee shop, underneath the Manhattan Bridge… it’s all the same. Just open the laptop and press them letter buttons. Some people need their special comfy chair or absolute peace and quiet in order to get the juices flowing. That’s sometimes hard to find, so if you don’t have those things, it gives you an excuse to put it off.
Putting things off is bad.
Always keep going. It’s the editing phase where you need to do some serious concentrating and that’s when you need to remove all distractions. Editing also works best if you can do it in big blocks, a whole day devoted to going through the script start to finish. Doing that sort of thing in short bursts will make you cry later because you screwed it up.
Plain old writing, however, can be tackled a little at a time. You’re just setting up the building blocks after all, and ninety minutes to blast through some pages is longer than you think. The sad fact that my concentration cannot last longer than two and half hours make a longer session redundant anyway. So if you can grab two hours a day to write, you have all the time you need. Caveat: Once you’re a professional writer, I’m sure things will change – you’ll need to write longer to get more things done, and that’s a whole other set of techniques.
Now I’m finding another problem – between work, The Wire, dinner, talking to my wife, The Wire, and sleep, I have almost no time to watch new movies. I can feel my movie knowledge fading away like Arnie’s biceps.