Best Writing Advice I’ve Heard In a While

Author John Scalzi wrote a post today titled: Writing: Find the Time or Don’t. This post is about me.

Maybe it’s not about me literally (shocking), but it certainly speaks to me. He says this:

Either you want to write or you don’t, and thinking that you want to write really doesn’t mean anything. There are lots of things I think I’d like to do, and yet if I don’t actually make the time and effort to do them, they don’t get done. This is why I don’t have an acting career, or am a musician — because as much I’d like those, I somehow stubbornly don’t actually do the things I need to do in order to achieve them. So I guess in really fundamental way I don’t want them, otherwise I’d make the time. C’est la vie.

And this:

So: Do you want to write or don’t you? If your answer is “yes, but,” then here’s a small editing tip: what you’re doing is using six letters and two words to say “no.” And that’s fine. Just don’t kid yourself as to what “yes, but” means.

And of course this:

If your answer is “yes,” then the question is simply when and how you find the time to do it. If you spend your free time after work watching TV, turn off the TV and write. If you prefer to spend time with your family when you get home, write a bit after the kids are in bed and before you turn in yourself. If your work makes you too tired to think straight when you get home, wake up early and write a little in the morning before you head off. If you can’t do that (I’m not a morning person myself) then you have your weekend — weekends being what I used when I wrote Agent to the Stars.

There’s much more over at his blog. I really suggest you check it out. I’ve been thinking about this for some time, to be honest. Do I really want to write? Because with the way I seem to find time to do other things, it sure doesn’t seem like it.

Sure I have the kids at home and the full-time job. Those eat up a lot of time. However, the kids do eventually go to sleep (really). At the least, if I wanted to I could write an hour a day, from 9:00 to 10:00 at night. I could do this, but I don’t.

I’m not giving up, at least not yet. I really do recognize the above about myself. I also don’t ever say that the reason I don’t write anymore is because I don’t have the time. I know I have the time. I just don’t use it for writing.

All is not lost, though. I’m not depressed as I type this. In fact, I’m heartened. As we move into Autumn I feel a bit of a surge in creativity in my body. Seems to happen every year around this time, in fact. After a few months of feeling blah, it’s a nice change for sure. I just hope I have the guts to take the time to take advantage of it.