Thursday, 29 December 2011

How do you find the time?

Hello again, my blog-reading brethren. In the spirit of me opening the remit of my blog up a teeny bit to include my writing career, I thought I'd pop in a quick entry here to mention that Marc Schuster over at small press reviews has very kindly (and very gently) interviewed me about my new fantasy book, The Ancients. You can,if you are so inclined (for instance, you're having a masochistic day) read the interview here.

But that's not all! Oh no! Not by a long chalk! (I really should google how on Earth that expression came about. What's so great about a long chalk? It'd just snap). As a special not-Christmas-any-more-but-not-quite-new-year-either treat, I thought I'd include a short article that I wrote for the New Writer's UK newsletter. Hold on to your hats! (If it's windy. Or your hats are particularly valuable)

How do you find the time?

I am not, to my eternal regret, Doctor Who. The closest I have come to a sonic screwdriver when I accidentally dropped one in the dishwasher. I don‟t own a TARDIS and, probably the bitterest pill to swallow, I don't get to spend extended amounts of time in an enclosed space with Amelia Pond.
Time, therefore, is a problem – a problem familiar to many part-time writers. How do you hold down a full time job, talk to your spouse (there might not be so much of that after my Amy Pond comment, mind you), perform your domestic chores, eat, sleep, walk the dogs...and still find time to sit down and write?
It isn't just the writing, of course. There‟s a whole heap of procrastination to get over before you get anywhere near filling a page with your brain juice. Before I even started to write this essay, for instance, I‟d drunk three cups of coffee, checked my email, twitter and facebook feeds, read a random Wikipedia entry about how pencils are made, re-checked my email, twitter and facebook, and visited the toilet twice (largely thanks to the coffee). All that before I had even begun my titanic battle with the dreaded BLANK PAGE.
"How do you find the time?‟ - a question I am asked often by clients when they discover I'm an author (not that I mention it at every possible opportunity. Ahem). How do you find the time to hammer (or at least tap) out a novel in between all those petty mundanities that modern life throws at you?
The truth is disappointingly prosaic. We use the classic 'stolen hours'. Late in the evening. Early in the day. We find the time because we love it. We sneak those words out in the quiet watches of the night and the gentle hours of the morning because it's our escape, our breath, our passion. We make room in our lives for writing because without it there would be a hollow, empty shell where our souls would be, and we would shrivel away ghosts, almost-people, unable to express our one true love. A TARDIS would still be nice, though.
Just saying.

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