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July 23rd, 2007, 08:37 PM
Yeah... it's been a LONG time since I last logged on or even lurked here, but I've been busy doing the Army thing. Sure, I've done more research than I could ever need on the dynamics of vehicle crews (tanks in particular ;)), managing platoons, scouting and reconaissance... but I just don't have the time to write anything!

I realize my situation is different from most, but where do you all find the time to write?

I have two story ideas floating around in my head and neither gets off the ground because it seems that my only time to write is a couple of minutes of sunlight that I can pull together when I am not actually working on something (when I am out and about) and when I am "home" I just want to crash.

July 23rd, 2007, 08:46 PM
For me, it's my lunch break at work. An hour a day, five days a week. With two young kids at home, that's about all I get. (Though I can squeeze some time on weekends if I've got a deadline.)

I know people who deliberately get up an hour early every day to write, but that's never worked for me. I'm already dead just getting up for work.

James Carmack
July 23rd, 2007, 09:59 PM
Ironically, I seemed to have the most time to write when I was in, but I guess it's different being Signal Corps (and a barracks rat to boot). I tell ya, guard duty at the BEQ. Laptop, check. Twelve hours of solid writing. ^_^

In all truth, I now have tons of time that I could be writing, but I've allowed a lot of distractions to get in the way. That's just a matter of willpower on my part. My current vacation seems to be replenishing my drive, so I might actually start making some real progress again.

Time management can be really easy or really hard depending on what kind of person you are. For starters, try setting aside an hour a day, whenever you can. (You may be loath to sacrifice an hour of sack time with PT looming next morning, but in the long run, it might prove worthwhile.)

Now, if only I'd follow that advice and set aside a dedicated hour for writing every day. ^_^;

July 23rd, 2007, 11:34 PM
I try and write after I get home from work. Like Jchines, there is no way I can get up in the morning. The problem is with a 4x10 work schedule. I am at work for about 12hours a day. By the time I get home I just want to relax and unwind. If I have time after that, then I get some writing done. Otherwise its another lost opportunity. I have been very unproductive this month, I've only written about 15k. :(

July 24th, 2007, 03:06 AM
When I can, but often when I can I don't feel like it, or avoid it for many reasons. (As I have done since Saturday).

July 24th, 2007, 08:33 AM
I'm having the same trouble, honestly. I work 40 hours a week, I get up at 6 - 7 AM every Weekday, I don't get home until 4 - 5 PM, and I wind up going to bed at about 11 PM. But I've got a girlfriend who I live with who takes up, at bare minimum, the 8 - 11 PM time. Then I also co-run a non-profit with her, which takes up another several hours a week, and we tend to have meetings on Tuesdays and we'll frequently have another one pop in randomly, and then we'll have service projects on the weekends sometimes.

I live a very exhausting life, which isn't really a complaint; I'm glad I'm staying busy. But finding the time for hobbies and writing is really, really difficult. And honestly, I find that the corporate life really drains you of inspiration and motivation. Sometimes I'll find myself with an hour, maybe even two that I could devote to writing, and instead I feel so exhausted mentally (and usually physically) that I'd rather just watch a movie or play a video game or do something else that is probably a monumental waste of time for me in the long run.

I've been really putting in the effort lately to do a ton of research for my current story, but I haven't been keeping up with the writing. It's mostly just been a lot of reading.

It's depressing, to say the least. But the only real solution for any of us is to find the time where you can. If it's truly important to you, you'll have to get off your ass and just push for it, and make the time for it, and when you have it, use it properly. That's the only way anything worthwhile ever gets done.

July 24th, 2007, 08:55 AM
Seeing a lot of the way I am feeling from others... I can do the research, I can think it out in my head, but I somehow just don't have the time (or inspiration) to put it on paper (read: on the computer).

It seems like the only times where I DO care to write are when I don't really have the opportunity.

As far as James Carmack and the differences of Signal Corps - I imagine the two are worlds apart. I am sure I will have more downtime in Iraq (imagine that...) but as a scout PL there isn't really any downtime from trying to process the info of multiple scout sections/sniper teams/observation posts, and when you do actually have downtime you are using it more to do some scouting of your own - or at least looking and listening.

I think my problems is the onesie and twosie approach of devoting just an hour to writing... by the time I am getting into the swing of it, it's time to stop. Do you al just force out the writing for an hour every chance you get and then work on refining it later? I seem to get caught in the trap of refining on the roll.

James Carmack
July 24th, 2007, 09:30 AM
Shane, I can sympathize with the soul-drain of the daily grind, even though I've got a ridiculously cushy job. If possible, take some leave and just unwind sometime. That's what I'm doing right now and I already am getting the itch to start churning stuff out again.

EarCollector, you might be surprised at the downtime you see in Iraq. I was discharged before we sallied into Mesopotamia, but my battle buddy spent two tours there and he had all sorts of time on his hands. Of course, we go back to the whole Signal bit. Even if you've got patrols and stuff, you still might find yourself with more "me time" than you've had lately. Hard to say.

Now, as for getting in the groove, if you've got the time to spare, there's no reason to stop. Now, if you think you'll wind up oversleeping and missing first formation, don't do it. "But my muse was calling" isn't an excuse that's likely to get you out of an Article 15 (or a good smoke session if they're more generous than the highspeeds at my old unit).

On the other hand, when nothing's coming out, some people say force it and polish it up later. However, that's not how I do things. Yeah, my rate of progress looks pretty pitiful as a result, but I feel the work I actually do is of higher quality. Maybe you're the type who can actual make some rather salvageable stuff through coercion. Try it and see what happens. It guarantees progress, even if the quality level suffers. Something's usually better than nothing.

July 24th, 2007, 10:37 AM
I usually find time to write when I get home from work and after I've made dinner/cleaning/laundry/sorted through bills but even then my concentration is pretty limited and I usually find myself reading up on research material on the net or just playing 30 mins on a game.

I need to force myself to write in the morning more, even for an hour, but it's difficult sometimes to get into the habit, even if the work is rubbish. =/

July 24th, 2007, 04:34 PM
Writing is not an easy task, and to get the best out of yourself takes a definite commitment. What works for one person may not work for another, but I can offer the advice I usually give to folks regarding time management for writing: if you're serious about doing it, then you have to treat it like a second job. Allocate time in your life for when it's going to be done, make it a schedule, and do it as if you were getting paid for it (since you won't be for quite a while... :rolleyes: ).

It's not easy, and it does take away some of the fun. For me, my 'natural' writing cycle is to work in about 3 - 4 hour increments. But I rarely ever get blocks of time like that. So I've had to adapt to the realities of my working life and the bill-paying job. I've noted in other threads here my routine: I switched from a 7:30 - 4:30 work day to a 9:00 - 6:00 work day, with the cooperation of my boss. I spend that hour and half in the morning as my "writing job" time. I also bring a laptop to work and spend every lunch at a table in the lunchroom writing. So on a good day, with no interruptions, I can get 2 1/2 hours of writing done (of course, meetings and all manner of things manage to keep that average down, but the priority item for those time slots is the writing).

It's exceedingly tough for me to try and write like that - I have a little timer that goes off on the laptop when it's time to shut down, and you can't imagine how hard it is to stop in mid-thought and have to save my work and head back to my desk and switch back to the 'other' job. But if I didn't make this sort of commitment to it, the writing would just never happen. It would be far too easy to be busy with other things...