Tuesday, October 8, 2013


Last week I was furloughed from my day job because lunatics are holding the government hostage. I can't write about this without devolving into incoherence and rage, but Andrew Sullivan has some thoughts I agree with, and Chuck Wendig took a dip into scatology on the subject.


I got four days of "unemployment" before I was called back into work, and it was pretty damn sobering. See, my reaction to this a few months ago would have been "Well... great!" Because I'd be confident the furlough was temporary, and I would have no demands on my time to prevent me from writing my little heart out. I could give being a full-time writer a shot without the hassle of actually quitting my job. I might even get back pay for it.

The reality was "nope". Leaving aside the need to care for the young lad (and spending time with him was a little blessing, don't get me wrong), I managed to burn most of my remaining time on television, video games, and an ill-fated attempt to kill the bees in my roof. (I think they're dead. I think they're dead because the wasps got them. That's not better.)

I wrote, yes, I got one short-short story done and posted and one half-finished. I took some notes and did a bit of research for the novel. And that was about it.

Being home all day didn't give me some magical energy boost. I wasn't suddenly churning out 2,000 words a day. Not being distracted by work just meant I got distracted by other things.

Which carries a valuable lesson. If you want to write, you have to make time to write, no matter what your circumstances are. I don't care if you're alone on a desert island with a crate of pens and Moleskines. If you don't commit to writing every day, come hell or high water, you won't write.

It's a basic lesson, and I'm not sure how many times I'm going to have to have it drilled into me before it takes. But there's no getting around it.

So what are your favorite tips on building up good writing habits? Don't be shy.

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