I am beta testing a new online writing class produced by a fellow member of Minneapolis Writers Guild. She’s a great writer, young and therefore tech-savvy. So the course ought to be good. (See Click Clack Writing for more. The developers say the course will be out early next year,)
The second lesson talks about writing space (I have a comfortably messy one) and time. Specifically, being purposeful about setting aside a time to write.
Ulp. I was going to start drafting the fourth novel in May. Today, I have bupkis.
You’re retired, right?
No, goddammit, I’m a writer now. My next career.
But you have plenty of time to write, no? Because you’re, uhh, re… a writer.
Umm. Theoretically, yes. Practically, not so much.
The last six months has been mostly devoted to publishing my first book, Fatal Score. That’s part of writing, isn’t it? So the investment of maybe 500 hours is justifiable … particularly since I have a series. Next book will be 200 hours.
Then there are the critique groups. When we moved back to the Twin Cities, I was anxious to find a writing group. Sometimes anxiety over-produces. I’m in three now. 600 hours per year for meetings and reading submissions. The critiques are great, and lead to a couple hundred hours a year of rewrite.
This year, that’s a 2/3-time job before the first new word goes on paper.
You said you’re a writer. You claimed it as your next ‘career’. Careers are by definition full time. So, what about the other 1/3?
Well, life is what happens when you’re making other plans.
November will see the launch of Fatal Score. By February, I’ll be finished editing the audio version. Some new words of the next draft will surely leak out before then, because the writing reservoir is full to overflowing.
But yes, I do need a goal.
On to lesson three of the new class.
Yes, retirement has not necessarily carved out more time for the creative side, has it? I am definitely looking forward to your audiobook.
Enjoyed reading your post, John! I completely understand how difficult it can be to carve out writing time. Even if I have time, it seems like there’s always something fighting for my attention (dishes! Dog needs a walk! Haircut!). Good luck with the writing class 🙂