The fallacy of ‘If I only had time to write…’


I really should know better than to fall for this one.

But it’s so tempting – you see so much of your days taken up by going to work, routine chores – or conventions in distant places, whatever – and still you manage to get a little writing done. So the idea’s obviously going to occur to you at some point: “If I only had a few days with nothing to worry about but writing, how much could I get done?”

I’m off work this week without any impressive travel plans, and I’ve managed to get some things from my to-do list crossed off, including critiques, finishing up a revision, and catching up with the Campaign. I’ve even gotten a new chapter finished on a crossover fanfic that I’ve been wanting to tie up.

But I still feel like I’m going to fall short of the targets that I’d hoped for stay-cation productivity. And that’s mostly because of the obvious reason that time to write is not enough. You need to have mental energy to draw on, and inspiration, and focus. After this summer, I didn’t really realize how low my reserves were getting, and doing other things to recharge them is much better than pushing too hard.

Like Aesop’s tortoise, I’ll get there in the end – wherever it is that I’m heading.

And thank you very much to Brinda Berry for the Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award. 🙂

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8 Responses to The fallacy of ‘If I only had time to write…’

  1. Mel Fowler says:

    Keep checking things off of your list. You can do it!

    Like

  2. Jennie B says:

    YES! Writing can’t always come on a whim. Some days it’s better to remember why you started writing in the first place.

    Like

  3. Brinda says:

    I hear you on the plea for more writing time. I hope you celebrate the items that you’ve marked off the to-do list! Sometimes I get more writing done on the scheduled work days than the days at home.

    Like

  4. Regina says:

    I always have to jot things down here or there when I get the idea or a few minutes between tasks. It helps me at least still write something down that maybe I can converge into something spectacular later.

    Like

  5. So true! Even with planning and focus, the writing well will run dry after a while. I once had four days to myself in the house (the family took a vacation without met) and had impressive goals. Hit the wall on day 2, recovered, eventually accomplished what I set out it, but it was difficult to maintain that intensity!

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  6. If there’s anything I’ve learned how to do over the course of my last book, it’s to squeeze in writing in any situation. I take my laptop with me everywhere, and now I can write in the middle of blaring music, conversation, crying babies, or in a snatched ten minute coffee break. And then, when it becomes too much, for goodness sake, book a hotel room for a weekend and settle in for a joyous uninterrupted session. : )

    Like

  7. Liz says:

    Even when I have a vacation from work it’s sometimes a struggle for me to get myself to write. I don’t want to think of it like work in the same way, but it kind of is. Sadly there are some times when I just want to sit and relax and read a book or watch TV. And I always kick myself afterwards when I feel like I’ve missed the opportunity to get some writing done.

    Like

  8. Andrea S. Michaels says:

    Sometimes too much time can make us (me) lazy. Because it suggests that I can do it whenever. Later. Any time. It’s false pretentions. 🙂
    – andrea
    PS: I’ve given you the Versatile Blogger Award, if you’d like to take it, you can find it here: http://wordyliving.wordpress.com/2011/09/25/thank-you/

    Like

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