On the premise that you can’t edit a blank page, get something written down. If you’re experiencing the same kind of angst as me – too much to do and not enough time to do it in – consider this piece of advice I read a while ago: if you gave up just one of your soaps every evening and concentrated on writing something instead you would have the best part of a novel by the end of the year. Now, I’m no-one to talk, I’m a sucker for quiz programmes and whodunits myself, but there is some merit in the idea.
I waste a heap of time on the sofa in front of the telly, eating biscuits, when I could be doing something more constructive. The cold winter weather doesn’t help – who, apart from a fanatic, is going to venture out and exercise, for God’s sake? But writing; that’s a horse of a completely different colour. You don’t even need to move from the settee. Equip yourself with a notebook and feel virtuous making notes during Silent Witness while nibbling on a Hob Nob.
Seriously though, I already claim extra reading minutes by getting up earlier in the morning (OK, so I take a cup of tea back to bed with me, but I do get through the books) rather than spend anti-social evenings with my nose buried in a book, ignoring my poor old partner. Now the choice is, do I swap some reading time in favour of writing, get up even earlier or ditch the quizzes…..?
During NaNoWriMo last year I had to come up with an average of 1667 words every day, something my partner understood and cooperated with. I would spend time at the computer when I got home from work. I achieved my daily target – most days – but it was only for one month. We’re adults; we coped.
And that’s the other thing – do I really want to come home for a job where I spend the majority of my time on a computer, only to turn the damn thing on as soon as I get in the door? Er…no. So that’s why my evening writing takes the form of making longhand notes for the novel, jottings for the blog, staring into space (very valuable, don’t let anyone tell you it isn’t), the occasional piece of flash fiction and reading about writing (which goes some way towards easing my conscience).
If I’m really excited by the part of the novel I’ve reached I will accommodate the Muse because otherwise I’m liable to forget that tasty little nugget, but generally, weekends are my time for writing. Each to their own, I suppose, as long as we don’t forget to write.