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Changes of Seasons, Changes of Times

I feel accomplished because I just finished an hourlong writing session. I edited and revised a section of my neverending novel. The one I seem to write about a lot. The sense of accomplishment is overshadowed by the fact that—with the exception of a few short bursts of editing over the last couple of weeks—I’ve hardly worked on the book since late August, when my day job (I’m a teacher) started up again.

I find that happens to me whenever there’s a change that occurs, which is problematic if one is to be a professional anything. Knowing this is an issue should make it easier for me to take care of it. As such I’m stating publicly, so I can be embarrassed if I fail, that I’m going to start doing a minimum of a half-hour of writing work every day. I got the timeframe from my writing colleague and buddy Lee Thompson who wrote about writing for a half hour every day.

I’ve been trying to get myself to work for two hours a day since the new school year began but I always find a reason (some may say excuse and I wouldn’t fault you for it, and may even agree with you deep down) not to sit down and do the work. I’m too tired is a biggy. My day is a long one with nearly an hour added to it since my daughter has become a student at my school. I leave the house at 6:35 to pick her up at my ex-wife’s (at 6:50). We arrive at school anytime between 7:00 and 7:20, depending on when she comes out. My day ends at 3, and if I have to wait for her for something, later. Then I bring her home and I’m not usually home until 3:45ish. At this point, two hours of more work feels like two days. By the time my wife gets home (6:20ish) and we have dinner, we’re at 7:30 and I have to iron clothes. After that, I’m too beat to do much more than read and/or watch TV until bed (between 9 and 10).

Now, the time between 4 and 6 is ample writing time. I know that. But teaching isn’t a relaxing job. I spend a lot of my day running around. Think Robin Williams. When I get home, I’m tired. And then I feel guilty. Because I love writing. This blog can help keep me sane in that way. Silly projects sometimes do, as well. Things that I don’t take seriously, just enjoy writing. But the novel…that’s work. Editing and revising is work for me. Fun work, once I get started, but work.

So Lee’s revelation that he works a half hour a day on his writing (I bet his daily schedule is even more crazed than mine) is an epiphany for me. The dude’s published something like a million books—novels, novellas, and stories—in the past year! I’m reading his first novel now and am enjoying it, and have begun saying to myself, “Thirty minutes a day.”

Today’s hour felt wonderful. With the baby coming (due in less than a month now!?), I know my time will be stretched even more, but I can commit to half an hour a day. Even if it means going someplace else for half an hour with my iPad and the Bluetooth keyboard to work.
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Speaking of the iPad and Bluetooth keyboard, this is the first time I’ve used to it to write something long. Writing on the iPad is weird. I may blog about this another time. Let me know if you think I should.

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