The Insecure Writer's Support Group (IWSG) is a place to share and encourage, where writers can express their doubts and concerns without appearing foolish or weak. It's a great place to mingle with like minded people each month during IWSG day.
A new feature of IWSG is a monthly question which may prompt folks to share advice, insights, a personal experience or story. Some folks answer the question in their IWSG blog post or let it inspire them if they're struggling with what to say.
This month's question prompt is:
"How do you find the time to write in your busy day?"
Check out how people have answered this month's question, as well as the other insecurities and writing topics they may have shared by visiting the IWSG sign-up list here. If you want to know how I answered the question, have a read below.
Goodness, it's a pretty serious question this month. One that requires lots of data collection, research and analysis. My days are so darn busy that I wasn't sure how I was going to find the time to really give the question the attention it deserves. So, I called in a few favors from some folks at MIT and got a crack team of scientific geeks together to crunch the data and pull together a detailed report.
Here's what they found after exhaustive study. My typical day looks something like this:
As you can see from the table above, much of the day is focused on meeting basic needs - sleep, food and personal hygiene. The rest of the day is devoted to scholarly research (erroneously labeled "playing on internet") and meticulous and detailed planning for writing projects (erroneously labeled "thinking about writing"). There is no time left in my hectic days to devote to actual writing.
The team at MIT also did a comparative study, looking at a the typical day of a cat.
You can see from the table above that cats spend an extraordinary amount of time sleeping. Shocking, really. Also, for creatures that are highly interested in when their next meal is, surprisingly, they spend very little time on food related activities. The cunning creatures get humans to prepare their food and then they snarf down those delicious, crunchy nuggets in minutes, freeing the rest of their day for other important activities like personal hygiene and playing loudly with toy mice during the middle of the night while their humans are sleeping.
The feline study did raise some interesting data points. For example, while cats spend part of their day planning how they're going to hunt critters outside (correlated to humans planning their writing projects), they also manage to find time to actually go outside and hunt lizards and snakes (correlated to humans actively typing on their keyboards).
The team at MIT concluded that there were some key lessons to be learned from felines, which could be applied to my own life and free up time for actual writing - namely, get other humans to prepare my food and then wolf it down quickly, growling at anybody who looks like they might take my food bowl away.
In all seriousness, my days are anything but busy. Now that I don't work in corporate la-la land, I theoretically have hours each day to devote to writing. But, I often spend more time thinking about writing, than I do actually writing the draft mystery novel that I've been working on for ages.
Interestingly, I recently wrote a short story in a matter of days and didn't have any problem finding the time to write it. Perhaps, I've been trying to write the wrong thing and putting my energy in the wrong place?
How to you find time in your busy (or not so busy) day to get things done?
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