When I have a story idea in my head, if someone asked me what I would like most in the world, I would give a selfish answer:
To magically have enough money appear in my bank account every month so I could spend my days researching, writing, and editing without having to worry about how the bills would be paid.
I am sure I am not the only one.
Unfortunately, unless you are independently wealthy, suddenly inherit a fortune, win the lottery, or have a very supportive (and financially accommodating) partner/family, most of us still have to keep some form of day job for a number of years before our writing business gets off the ground.
This leaves us with two dilemmas:
- Finding time to write.
- Using the time we have to write to actually write.
I’m pretty lucky. I live alone, I don’t have any dependents, and I also work my day job from home so I have no commute. I can block out hours at a time for writing.
But even when I block out time to write, somehow things go awry.
My worst habits are:
- Continuing working on day job stuff after I should have finished work – a hazard of working from home.
- Being interrupted by day job people after I should have finished work or when I am on holiday – another side effect of working from home – people think I am always available.
- Answering questions on a Facebook writing group telling myself I am helping others so I don’t feel so guilty.
- Saying things like, I’ll just put this load of laundry on before I start writing, and then cleaning half the house telling myself I am ‘thinking’ about what I am going to write.
- Sitting down to work on my WIP but write a blog post instead – like this one.
- Intending to spend an hour reading to take a writing break but spend half the day with my nose buried in a book – just one more chapter, what can it hurt?
- Searching for more research material when I have ample information to start writing.
What bad habits do you have when you have the time to write? Let us know in the comments below.
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