Have you ever heard the expression “If you want something done, give it to a busy person”?
I can tell you that I’m that person at the moment and if you hand me something to do outside of a work situation, it can go either way. I have recently changed my job and as a result, increased my hours as well. Not in the literal sense, though that would be nice, but the amount of time I’m spending at work.
So how do part-time fiction writers do it? How do you manage your day job, work travel, exercise, time with family and friends, study, sleep and life in general, while trying to finish a novel?
Not sure, but it does happen. You hear about it all the time. A new novelist emerges from the shadows of another occupation and there you have it – 50 shades of something to do with vampires.
The way I see it, something has to give.
You see, I always have a list in my head. A list that nags me to clean the house, run an errand, phone someone I should have phoned already, edit the rest of my novel, and all the while my guitar weeps at exactly the same time, just as loud as the rest of them and not gently at all. You’ve guessed it, I have recently added playing-the-guitar to the list of things I’m not doing. And I am so pre-occupied with doing everything that “doing nothing” seems so much easier, the majority of the time.
And this is the problem – time. The fact that it is relative. Not that it passes, because it does and we can do nothing to stop it. It’s the fact that time passes at what seems like a varying rate, influenced by your state of mind. Even if you are doing something you enjoy, if you have to do it, it will feel like it takes just that little bit longer to complete. And by the time you have some “spare” time, the time left over after the “musts” have been done, I tend to will it to last longer, which makes it disappear even quicker.
But in 170 days’ time (who’s counting, right?) I’ll be embarking on my next overseas trip, which will fly by of course. But hopefully my “musts” will be restricted to getting from A to B and deciding where to eat, only. So maybe, just maybe, I can start my next novel at that time, just like I started my first in Europe in 2010.
All I know is I’m looking forward to hopefully, one day, publishing a novel. Until then, I’ll just dream about it. But only for a minute.
I have writing to do.