This week the day-job project switched over to qualification testing, so apart from dealing with trouble tickets as the testers find things wrong I actually get some breathing room for a few days until we start the next sprint. Which means YAY I CAN DO SOME WRITING.
Yes, I know, I should be able to find time to write regardless of the six day, fifty-plus-hour weeks. And you’d be right, too. There are no excuses. Most days I start work around 6am and finish around 3pm or so, and then there are usually chores or something that need to get done, and those can take an hour or three, depending. After that I usually feel too buggered to do much other than watch TV or maybe play some game (I’ve been playing Astroneer on Steam recently; check it out). But now I have a solution to that, which I’ll come back to.
I signed up for a summer writing workshop at my favourite local indie bookstore, Old Firehouse Books in Fort Collins. The group meets once a fortnight over the summer, and even though we’ve only had one workshop so far it promises to be educational and fun.
As an example of the educational, here’s a thing: you know when you try to set aside an hour or two for writing but it never seems to work out because something else always comes up, or you’re just too damned tired or not in the right frame of mind?
So here’s that thing I said I’d come back to. One of group (I think he said his name was John) mentioned something he’d read: don’t try to set aside an hour; instead, whenever you have fifteen minutes free, grab your writing stuff and write (or outline, or timeline, or something — anything that moves your project forward).
That’s it. Simple.
And if that fifteen minutes of free time ends up being ten, or five, because something interrupts, that’s ok — because at least you got five minutes’ work done where you’d normally have done zip.
Of course, it can go the other way: you might find that the fifteen minutes you thought you had becomes twenty, then thirty, then an hour or more.
This is quite possibly the best little gem of writing advice I’ve heard in the last couple of years. Now, after the work day and the chores are done with, I can think about grabbing the Chromebook and getting something done, even if it’s just for fifteen minutes.
On that note, I need to make a phone call, and after that I have fifteen minutes free.
Until next time, gentle reader…