At my day job, I am ‘forced’ to take an hour lunch. To me, the majority of this time is wasted. Personally, I’d rather leave at 4:30 and just take a half hour lunch, but that’s not an option. So, hey ho…
Now, one of the good things is I’m allowed to use the computer for personal business during this time. Lacking internet access, I originally brought pdfs to read. Then, one day, I hit upon the idea of working on ‘the other project’. I’d spend about half an hour each lunch break writing and knock out a few hundred pages.
Well, then that fell apart. So I decided I would start working on novel number two. For about 3 extremely productive months, I managed to crank out 500+ words a day on my lunch break. Novel two is almost 200 pages long because of this ‘wasted’ time.
Then I took a break and went back to the old country for two weeks. Two weeks away from a daily habit is a long time. When I returned, I could not quite get my head back into the zone. Equally, though I had been taking walks as well, I started jogging for 15 or 20 minutes near where I work. All of this contributed to two things: I wasn’t really writing much any more and I was much more fit than I had been in a long time.
The short story came along, and maybe I just needed a break. I’ve been cranking out 250-350 words a day for awhile. As I draw nearer to finishing the story, I’ve found myself speeding up. Today I managed a massive 600 words! Due to this, the short story is nearly finished. I’ve had the first major ‘reveal’ and now all I need is the final climax and she’s a wrap. Granted I fear it will be a 10000 word ‘short story’ by that point, but c’est la vie.
If I can share any bit of advice to other writers, it is this: take your time to write when and where you can find it. I’m a captive audience at work. When I started this job, I brought books to read and read news papers and did other things to fill my time. While those endeavors were entertaining, they did not get me anywhere. I find I’m often worn out after work and find it difficult to write. But lunch time? That’s my time. And stick to a regular schedule! Deviation caused me to drift away from my efforts and I lost my way for awhile, even though before the trip I couldn’t imagine not writing during the day.
I’m going to have to see if I can force myself to put in some time over the holidays. Wonder how well that will go?