Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Writing: Energy Management v. Time Management

Via Gilsworth, Stock Exchange
"How do you find the time?" is a question often asked of writers.

I think it's the wrong question.

We all get 24 hours a day. (Unless you know something I don't.)

The time is there to be taken: 30 minutes to an hour during lunch. 20 minutes sipping coffee in the morning. The hours that you spend watching television, playing video games or vacuuming the living room (does it really need vacuuming again?). The downtime you have at work. Your bus commute. The times you hide out, from your spouse or kids, in the bathroom.

The time is there.

The energy, however, may not be.

When I'm overtired, I'm not at my best. I might be able to get out a few sentences that are worth something, but most of what I write feels (and reads) like crap.

Despite the romantic image of the writer penning prose late into the night, fueled by near lethal doses of caffeine and not too little inspiration, it doesn't usually work. (Though it might be enough to get you a shitty first draft. A really shitty one.)

Via Stock Exchange
I've been trying to rectify the energy issue over the last few months. I've set a loose, but fairly consistent exercise plan consisting largely of yoga (something I very much enjoy) with interspersed trips to the apartment gym for jogs on the treadmill and weight lifting.

There's been a lot of improvement to my flexibility. Obvious improvement to my energy. I've been writing more (if not necessarily better). Though I'm still battling the demon of Not Enough Sleep.

What say you? Is it a matter of time? Or a matter of energy? And what do you do to address either issue? 


L. M. Leffew said...

With me, it's distractions. My mind loves "shiny, new objects." It will bounce around like it's on crack. Like now. Best time for me to write is first thing in the morning, when I'm fresh and my mind is still relatively uncluttered.

L. M. Leffew said...

I know that mindset well. "Ooh, shiny" can extend to everything from television shows to shopping for writing materials (see: office supplies).

I have a hard time writing in the morning (I'm either not awake or feeling too rushed), which is frustrating for me because thew few times I've hit a groove in the a.m., I've produced some work that I really liked.

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