Imagine this. You have a few hours (minutes!) free and you want to spend them writing. If you’re anything like me you have a couple of projects on the go. How do you decide which one to work on?
I can be very fickle. As well as this blog, I have two novels on the go, and several short stories (one of which I hope to submit for a competition in two weeks). I have dreams of submitting to literary publications, and more competitions. I have a list as long as my arm of books I want to read (and some I want to review), but I also need to make time for my paid work, daily housework tasks, several different art and craft projects I’ve been working on…oh, and don’t forget some semblance of a social life!
So how do you choose what to work on? In those few precious spare minutes, how do you decide what is going to be the most productive? My first instinct is to choose sleep, and there are times when I’m so tired that rest is the only useful thing I’m capable of. Unfortunately, sleeping doesn’t put words on the page (although I’ll admit several times the inspiration for my stories has come from dreams!)
Since starting this blog, it has become a priority. There have been times when I’ve missed a few weeks – either because I’ve been too busy to write, or haven’t had anything to share – but generally it’s the first thing I’ll open when I’m planning to write. I think in part it’s because there is a sense of achievement in writing and publishing a post of a few hundred words, and it’s something that can be done relatively quickly.
Competition entries come next. The strict deadlines should be a strong motivator, but there are times when I’ve just had to admit defeat. I had hoped to submit the story I’m working on at the moment to last years’ competition, but I was burned out at the time from finishing a huge project. I realised that with a week to go until the deadline, it would be a waste of my time to try and rush the piece, and I wouldn’t be happy with it.
Sadly this leaves me with little time to work on the things that might, eventually, earn me some money. I have nothing ready at the moment to submit for publication. I’m going to have to bite the bullet at some stage, set a firm deadline, and get something ready…but I’m not sure where I’m going to find the time!