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Author Topic: Writing a story while having a busy lifestyle.  (Read 2000 times)

Offline Sgtwolf01

Writing a story while having a busy lifestyle.
« on: October 30, 2017, 10:25:07 AM »
I'm actually curios about those people who have, or had a busy lifestyle with not much time for anything, yet were able to write a story (or parts of it) during that time. How did you do that? Be organised, focused and motivated? Or did you completely fluke it and it all worked out?
This might get use one day, perhaps in another world. Hey I could probably turn that into a story! *rolls for skill check*

Offline Rostum

Re: Writing a story while having a busy lifestyle.
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2017, 03:45:37 PM »
You need Mark Lawrence to answer that one as he is the busiest author I have come across and can ask the question here:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4721536.Mark_Lawrence


Offline Skip

Re: Writing a story while having a busy lifestyle.
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2017, 05:42:59 PM »
I've seen this addressed by many authors. They are depressingly consistent in their answers: they make the time.

How they do this varies widely. Many get up early, writing for an hour or more before work. Others stay up late. I've heard many mothers (it usually is the female in the partnership) who write whenever the baby finally sleeps. Still others wrote on the commute.

For myself, I wrote on my lunch hour. I kept a physical notebook with me at all times and wrote whenever I could grab even a few minutes. The result was horribly fragmented, as often as not mere notes or dialog bits.

But there was one huge, vital benefit, and I believe all the other authors would say the same. By grabbing time whenever I could, I made writing into a habit. I taught myself how to keep an eye out for time. I learned how to shift gears into writing mode quickly. I even learned how to think about the story while doing other things. I learned, in short, how to obsess.

This served me well when larger chunks of time became available. For some authors that happened after they made a big sale and could quite the day job. For me it happened when I retired. In any case, I now can take a chunk of four or five hours (I can't last much longer, even on a good day; the bones get tired). I can stay concentrated, though I do alternate between half-hour sprints and five or ten minute breaks (see bones, supra).

In short, I believe there is a benefit to trying, to grabbing time by the minute rather than by the hour or day. The new writer has many mistakes to make. Might as well get to it.

Offline cupiscent

Re: Writing a story while having a busy lifestyle.
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2017, 08:40:07 PM »
I've heard many mothers (it usually is the female in the partnership) who write whenever the baby finally sleeps.

Oh look, it's me! Yeah, at the moment, I write during the baby's nap, and now that she's older, when she's at childcare.

When I was still working, before baby, I wrote on my commute (I rejigged it to be slightly longer, but allow me to reliably have a seat on the train) and during my lunch break. I successfully did Nanowrimo one year just writing in those slots.

The key, as Skip notes, is making the time. Take your writing seriously, set aside time for it, defend that time. It might mean not getting to watch as much television, or play as many games, or whatever else. But if you want to write, it's only going to happen if you make time to sit down and do it.

Offline Skip

Re: Writing a story while having a busy lifestyle.
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2017, 06:11:17 AM »
I need to add to my own comments here. Cupiscent's comment about defending your time is what brought it to mind.

Practice defending your time by defending it from yourself.

The first thing I thought about, when I encountered this advice, was defending my time from outside influences: family, work, friends. Then it became all about negotiating and making deals. Somewhere along the line, I realized that I myself eat away at my time. Not just procrastinating but making any number of choices other than to write.

Once I realized that, I was able to reclaim some time, simply by paying attention to where I myself was wasting it. Since then, I've become a big advocate of defending one's own time from oneself first and foremost.
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Offline J.R. Darewood

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Re: Writing a story while having a busy lifestyle.
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2017, 06:26:15 AM »
I've noticed not sleeping helps

Offline Sgtwolf01

Re: Writing a story while having a busy lifestyle.
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2017, 11:53:34 AM »
I've noticed not sleeping helps


Nope sleeps too precious for me, I can't get enough of it as it is and so any amount of sleep is a win for me.

You need Mark Lawrence to answer that one as he is the busiest author I have come across and can ask the question here:
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4721536.Mark_Lawrence

Oh yeah? Alright I'll go check.

So basically, according to both @Skip and and @cupiscent, the best way to write in a busy lifestyle is to make the time for it. Otherwise you will never make the move to write since you never fully dedicate yourself to it. And yeah I'm certainly my own biggest enemy, in a variety of fields. I am certain of that.
This might get use one day, perhaps in another world. Hey I could probably turn that into a story! *rolls for skill check*

Offline night_wrtr

Re: Writing a story while having a busy lifestyle.
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2017, 04:48:28 PM »
I've noticed not sleeping helps


Nope sleeps too precious for me, I can't get enough of it as it is and so any amount of sleep is a win for me.


Thats why they invented coffee.

If I want to write anything right now, it is when I sacrifice an hour or two of sleep.

Offline Sgtwolf01

Re: Writing a story while having a busy lifestyle.
« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2017, 09:51:11 PM »
Quote
Thats why they invented coffee.

If I want to write anything right now, it is when I sacrifice an hour or two of sleep.

Oh yeah, haven't learn to drink it though. I mean I'm willing to sacrifice some sleep time for writing, how much is the question.
This might get use one day, perhaps in another world. Hey I could probably turn that into a story! *rolls for skill check*

Offline Skip

Re: Writing a story while having a busy lifestyle.
« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2017, 04:05:17 AM »
I mean I'm willing to sacrifice some sleep time for writing, how much is the question.

That's an easy one: some.

More than none. The key is not answering the question, the key is doing the act. Do it often enough, and the question will answer itself.

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Offline J.R. Darewood

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Re: Writing a story while having a busy lifestyle.
« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2017, 07:13:19 AM »
I mean I'm willing to sacrifice some sleep time for writing, how much is the question.

That's an easy one: some.

More than none. The key is not answering the question, the key is doing the act. Do it often enough, and the question will answer itself.

Haha, it's gotta be an every-other night sort of thing

Offline Sgtwolf01

Re: Writing a story while having a busy lifestyle.
« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2017, 01:34:14 PM »
Quote
That's an easy one: some.

More than none. The key is not answering the question, the key is doing the act. Do it often enough, and the question will answer itself.

Huh, how philosophical of you. I definitely should try this 'doing' thing more, I hear that it enables you get get stuff done. Far fetch I know, but you seem to support this idea as well.

Quote
Haha, it's gotta be an every-other night sort of thing

Yeah that'll make it more reasonable, it'd be hard to write at night *every* night.
This might get use one day, perhaps in another world. Hey I could probably turn that into a story! *rolls for skill check*

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Re: Writing a story while having a busy lifestyle.
« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2017, 02:37:21 PM »
Quote
That's an easy one: some.

More than none. The key is not answering the question, the key is doing the act. Do it often enough, and the question will answer itself.

Huh, how philosophical of you. I definitely should try this 'doing' thing more, I hear that it enables you get get stuff done. Far fetch I know, but you seem to support this idea as well.
hehehe I actually read it as "taking the first step", and once that's done, it becomes easier :)

At least that's what I do with my running - when I eventually get back - just go out and start instead of staying home wondering if I should go or not...
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Offline Steve Harrison

Re: Writing a story while having a busy lifestyle.
« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2017, 12:40:44 AM »
I count myself fortunate if I get three or four hours to write on a weekend. I can go weeks without writing, but sometimes I fit in two sessions or, when on holiday, I might write for an hour every day for a week or two. Also, as I get toward the end of a project I'll force myself to write more to finish it off.

I have a family and a busy non-writing 'real' job and when I tried to include my writing obsession a few years ago I ended up miserable, exhausted and suffering from anxiety.

Now, I'm happy if I get a few sentences down in a session, although I tend to write more most of the time, and the work gets done. I think this more relaxed approach has worked for me, as in the last four years I have had one novel traditionally published, another is out with an agent and I am halfway through a thriller.

I dream of being able to write fulltime and produce a novel or two a year, but at the moment that is not realistic, so I am enjoying a non-prolific writing pace and balanced life.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2017, 12:44:27 AM by Steve Harrison »

Offline S. K. Inkslinger

Re: Writing a story while having a busy lifestyle.
« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2017, 06:43:36 AM »
I'm having trouble putting in writing in my timetable too. I'm a unversity student in a field that left quite little time for anything else. I've managed to put in some of my free time for writing during the past year. Right now, however, I'm also finding a growing passions with muay thai training, and it ends up occupying most of my spare time. This new obseesion, combined with a writer's block, had left me not having written anything for almost three months now. Umh... hopefully one day I'll be able to get back to writing.