Wanted: Blocks of Time

As a follow-up to yesterday’s post, it occurs to me that part of my problem is how much time I’m actually spending working on the new novel right now. As most of you know, I’m trying to get back to a semi-normal schedule after my bout with cancer. I’m working only about 60% time right now, so you’d think I would have lots of time for the novel. But three things are working against me:

1. I have a lot of new health-related things added to my daily routine, and those aren’t ever going to go away.
2. I’m really behind on household and garden chores, and I’m trying to gradually, oh so slowly, catch up.
3. It’s important that I don’t overdo my work hours for a while.

The upshot of all of this is that I’m working on the new book only about five hours a week. I plan to increase that over the course of the next few months because it’s really a pitiful amount. How can I get inside my characters’ heads when I spend so little time with them?

But it can’t be helped. I’m still in the situation that my health has to come first. It will get better when I can work at the writing at least 10-12 hours a week. I’m just not there yet.

Have you ever gone through a period in which you have so little time for your writing? What do you do to keep your excitement about the project alive?


Filed under Writing

8 responses to “Wanted: Blocks of Time

  1. You’re doing great. Even without working and no health issues (right now) I get stalled on my work and just have to set it aside sometimes…pick up something different. Play other roles. keep working at your own pace. To try to much would be stress you don’t need.

  2. There aren’t many times we’re actively “scheduled” with something, but some days, I just can’t shoehorn in the writing time because something else comes up which requires attention.

    I have myriad little notebooks I keep with me and around the house, so I can jot notes and impressions down in there, different from outlining or “real” writing, but maybe thoughts and theamatics for characters That kind of thing.

  3. Writing is more than putting words onto the screen/paper. I find I get to know my characters by talking to them in my head. Sometimes I start with the questions James Lipton asks at the end of “The Actor’s Studio” and see where it takes me. Sometimes I just talk to them about their life. It doesn’t matter what the topics, really. It’s something I can do anywhere, any time that my brain doesn’t need to be concentrated somewhere else.
    If something good comes out of it, then I can jot it down, but for the most part, I just concentrate on getting to know them, learning how their voice sounds in my head and making all the little decisions mentally instead of having to rewrite pages and pages later.
    That way, when I have very little time or energy to write, I can still be working with my story and characters. I’ve gotten some marvelous insights to book-problems this way, FWIW.

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