1. archerfenris

    archerfenris Active Member

    Jun 1, 2013
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    Savannah, GA

    Writing Through Life

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by archerfenris, Apr 30, 2015.

    I'm getting married in a few weeks, going on a honeymoon, moving, learning a completely new job, then moving again after about 6-8 months (ish) to a new place so I can be utilized for the new job I learned (and it's possible to be moved overseas).

    I'd like to crank out another novel (I finished my first last January). My characters won't leave me alone at this point after months of not writing. However, I work best when I have a rhythm. I completed my novel by writing for an hour or so every weeknight and at various times throughout the weekend. Right now, however, there is no rhythm. My job right now is basically preparing to move. I find myself playing video games during my free time, thinking "what's the point? I'll be in Hawaii in 3 weeks. Nothing will get done."

    Does anyone have any tips for these tipping points in our lives? How do you stay focused? How do you know when to call yourself lazy and when to tell yourself that your writing needs to take a back seat for a while? Thanks guys!
  2. AlcoholicWolf

    AlcoholicWolf Senior Member

    Oct 30, 2013
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    Writing should never take a back seat... you'll just stall, and days and days will pass where you decide not to start. You've got to keep up the momentum. Sit down and write, man!
  3. minstrel

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

    Jul 11, 2010
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    Near Los Angeles
    Sounds like your life is getting exciting! Just write during your video game time. When all this new stuff is sorted out and you're in a more stable situation, you'll be proud to have some good work done. :)
  4. jannert

    jannert Member Supporter Contributor

    Mar 7, 2013
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    Well, I'm going to disagree with both @AlcoholicWolf and @minstrel on this point. You're not the sort of person who dingles and dangles around, waiting to start writing and finding excuses not to. You've already finished a novel and have started another one. You're preoccupied with lots of other very important, life-changing things at the moment, however. Of course if you WANT to write through them, fine. But playing computer games at this stage is a way to relax—not to waste time. You don't need to feel guilty about it. I know if I were in your shoes, I would not be writing either. Some of us need a certain degree of peace of mind (or at least routine) to be able to create.

    I'd say keep a notebook handy and do allow yourself to think about your book in quiet moments. If anything occurs to you that matters to your story, scribble it down and save it for later. But do allow yourself some space, and don't feel pressured to keep up a writing schedule just now, if that's not what you feel able to do. You'll just sit there, churning out words and not having any fun at all. Then later on, you'll need to get rid of what you wrote and start again. That's discouraging. Better to dive in later on, when you're energized and back on track.

    And good luck with all your life changes! Enjoy them. They sound unsettling, but very good.
    Tesoro, tonguetied and minstrel like this.
  5. EdFromNY

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

    Jun 13, 2010
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    Queens, NY
    "Life is change." - Remy in "Ratatoille."

    Congratulations, and the very best of luck in this next chapter of your life. The one thing I can tell you about your future is that it very likely will not be what you think it will be. For one thing, the minute you say "we", you have given up some of "I". Which means that you will not be 100% in charge of your own destiny. Someone else will have opinions that you'll have to respect. And if you decide to have children, that introduces multiple new dimensions of unknown.

    Your first sentence lists three major realms of change - in family status, in location and in job. That's a whole lot. There will be more. Count on it. The best advice I can give you is to make as few hard-and-fast rules as possible, because as soon as you make one, you'll run into a situation in which you have to either bend it or break it, or else something else will have to give. And that something else may be more precious than whatever you made the rule about.

    Since my wife and I were married 39 years ago (holy shit! Did I just write "39 years"???), I've survived a major career change of my own and three of my wife's; two children with challenges; four job changes, including one sector change (to the benefit of my mental health), providing elder care or advice to two sets of parents, one long distance...you get the idea. Had I made hard-and-fast rules about writing, I'd have forced myself into either eliminating writing from my life or turning my back on something critically important. Remaining flexible allowed me to not have to do that.

    There were long stretches over which I did not write much. Longer stretches over which my writing was confined to late night hours or scribbling in notebooks on trains or planes or in hotel rooms. Certainly, my writing suffered because of it, but it would have suffered a great deal more if I'd not made the adjustments my life required. So, my advice is to take the life changes in stride. Embrace them. Like the picnic table you will likely one day assemble for your backyard, don't tighten any bolts before you have to. Give yourself room to maneuver. And I second @jannert's notebook idea.

    Good luck and God bless.
    jannert and tonguetied like this.
  6. 123456789

    123456789 Contributor Contributor

    Jan 28, 2012
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    I was just in a very similar situation to yours. Unfortunately, I had to stop writing daily. Without a regular routine, it's just too hard. But I certainly didn't stop writing altogether. I think there's a fundamental difference between going from writing daily to writing only a few days a week and going from writing daily to not writing at all. In the former case, you'll make a little progress, but still keep your flow and endurance. In the latter case, youl make no progress, but worse, when you get back to writing, you're gonna be like "wtf! I've gone completely out of the zone."

    Try to get your girlfriend to do the brunt of the packing, if possible. This is what I did and I was able to write on a semi daily basis. As for Hawaii, there's nothing like waking up to the ocean with a fresh cup of coffee and a desk. Or take a break for writing in the afternoon when your SO is napping and it's not yet sunset. You only need an hour right?

    eight additional months, however, is too long. You don't want to not write that whole time. Seriously, that's a dangerous slope right there, and you don't want to wake up fifty and wondering

    For that period, make a new routine, then, when you finally start the new job, make another one.
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2015

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