Tag Archives: making time

Lots of Time, Not Enough Time

Summer is weird for my writing process.

I do my project writing at work — arriving early and carving time out of my lunch break to get my daily word count in. Which is great. It’s regular, it’s very rarely disrupted, and it’s (for the most part) uninterrupted. The big problem with it is: I’m a teacher. Which means that, for two months out of every year, and on the odd week here and there, my writing routine hits a speed bump. Except it’s less speed bump and more an entire clutch of trees fallen across the road.

trees see GIF

Because when we’re on vacation — and man, I’m not complaining about vacation! — so many of the elements I like to have in place are out of place. I don’t have my usual space. I don’t have the relative quiet. I definitely don’t have the lack of interruption.

Instead, I’m trying to work on the sofa in the living room, or the desk downstairs, with the kids running laps through the house and asking me endless questions. There’s no such thing as quiet. There’s no such a thing as even an interrupted five minutes.

I have all the time I could want, but I can’t buy the moments.

Like having reservations to a fancy restaurant on the night of my kid’s graduation.

Or having a membership to a swanky gym on the opposite side of town.

The thing is there, but it might as well be behind bulletproof plexiglass. I just can’t get to it. It’s frustrating as hell. I have so much time in the day, but I can’t — or at least, haven’t figured out how to — use that time.

Which means that, yet again, the project is stalled, until I can find a more reliable way to work on it. Which may well be going back to school in the fall.


This post is part of Stream-of-Consciousness Saturday.


The Weekly Re-Motivator: No Exit

Linda’s prompt this week is “ex”, and it’s hard to read that and not think about the ways I’m coming up short of late. For the past couple of weeks, I’m an ex-every-day-writer, an ex-dedicated-to-working-out-workout-doer, and an ex-regular-blogger.

It’s hard to lay all the blame on one thing, but I’m gonna go ahead and lay much of it on the new job. I anticipated it would be stressful; I didn’t anticipate that it would leave me totally drained at the end of every day, with very little semblance of my old work/workout/write routine.

And the sad fact is, it’s going to get worse before it gets better, because starting very soon, I’ll be pulling some serious after-school hours, which is only going to exacerbate the problem. There is, in short, no exit.

Not to fear. You’re not off the hook so easily, dear reader. Only a matter of time until I figure out how to make it all work, and I’ve already mostly figured out how to get my daily novel writing in (3000+ words this week — good ones, too).

In the meantime, here are some things that might have merited full blog posts, were I not struggling to move myself from the couch when I’m not at work this week:

Rio crowds heckling Hope Solo by booing her every time she touches the ball, and shouting “ZIKA” on every one of her kickoffs. Solo is hardly the most likable personality on the team, and she’s obviously got some off-the-field issues, but she’s not the kind of player that’s going to buckle to, or even be impressed by, a little bit of hate. The whole thing just kind of makes me laugh — and I imagine that she pictures a deadly cloud of mosquitoes ferrying the ball to midfield every time she hears the odd cry.

Speaking of the Olympics, I hardly watched the opening ceremonies at all — the only thing we caught was a demonstration with a Brazilian prototype airplane that was … I dunno … it started in reality on the field and then turned into this weird greenscreen thing on the broadcast? Between that and the strange box-stacking thing that started it all off, I just couldn’t get into it — and things weren’t helped by the fact that NBC was cutting to commercial every five minutes. I should hardly be pooping on the presentation designed to highlight the spirit of the host country and the camaraderie of the games, but the opening ceremonies are always so odd.

Still, the scenery is absolutely breathtaking — the shots of the mountains overlooking the bay are just staggeringly beautiful, if you can forget about the fact that the water would fail a breathalyzer test if breathalyzers could test for poop.

Then again, it’s hard to forget about all the poop in that water, or the fact that those swimming in the bay were advised “not to open their mouths” while swimming.

And on one final, unrelated note, the new job gives me a somewhat longer commute, which is giving me the time to catch up on some podcasts that I neglected over the summer. I’ve caught up on all kinds of fascinating minutiae. Granny-style free-throw shooting. Supreme Court justice shenanigans. Black hole collisions and gravitational waves (not “gravity waves,” there’s a difference, it turns out). And the ins and outs of shooting a Youtube show as a woman (never read the comments, apparently).

Oh, and Donald Trump is crazier every day; cracking like an overripe egg under the heat lamp of the election spotlight.

I can’t wait for self-driving cars to become a thing, so that I can actually get some work done when I’m driving back and forth to work.

More blargs this week. The universe depends on it.

This weekly remotivational post is part of Stream of Consciousness Saturday. Every weekend, I use Linda G. Hill’s prompt to refocus my efforts and evaluate my process, sometimes with productive results.

Accidentally Inspired is Two Years Old!

WordPress informs me that my blarg is two years old today.

Baby, Crown, Birthday, Cute, Child, Blue Eyes, Girl

(That is not either of my babies.)

I guess that tracks, though it’s a little hard to believe.

I started this little experiment at the same time I decided I was going to try writing a novel. I intended it to be a space for reflecting, for puzzling out the process, for venting the pressure when I got stressed out from the process (for all I didn’t know what writing a novel would be like, I at least anticipated somewhat the stress it would bring). It’s grown from that; I’m comfortable enough now with my process that I don’t need to post so much about it to keep myself honest, and I’ve developed a taste for using it as a space to talk about other things.

Reviews, for example, have been a lot of fun to write. As have political posts, especially the closer we’ve gotten to the election this year. I still post about running every now and then, even though it drives my wife nuts (“how much,” she rightly asks, “can you really say about it??”). Then there’s the Weekly Re-Motivator posts, which have served to keep me on the straight and narrow for getting the writing done (and, judging from the comments, have also helped some of my readers out as well — which I think is fargoing awesome). And the blarg continues to be a good motivator for keeping short fiction flowing, though I’m maybe not as stringent about posting it every week like I used to be. Frankly, when I go back and look at my numbers from when I started the blarg, I don’t know how I maintained that pace at this time of year. (Actually it’s no great secret; I wasn’t coaching soccer in that first year, and soccer has turned out to be an even bigger time sink than I originally anticipated).

Some of you may even be hanging around from when the blog was once called “Pavorisms” — it didn’t become “Accidentally Inspired” until about six months ago. Hooray for arbitrary milestones! I particularly like the new title, not just because it’s been the working title of my book since before I ever wrote it, but because it pretty much represents my thoughts about my artistic process, and it has, in that way, helped me to rethink and rediscover a direction for my thoughts here. I think it’s awesome that ordinary people like me can create things that other people enjoy, so I try to keep that in mind and keep myself inspired.

So, a recap:

Since the inception of my once-writing-now-more-of-a-Life-the-Universe-and-Everything blog, I’ve accomplished:

1 full-length (90,000 word) novel, almost finished with its third edit, and about to be sent out in search of an agent.

1 drafted novel (about 85,000 words), which I will maybe start editing after I finish this last pass at AI … or maybe I’ll just go draft another!

A … bunch of flash fiction stories. My collection page lists about 40, but it’s woefully out of date; I want to say it’s closer to 60 or 70 by now. At about 1000 words a piece, that’s another 70,000 words. That kinda blows my mind, actually. 70 stories. To say nothing of the ones I never finished…

A total of 462 posts here at the blarg. Subtract out the 70 stories and that’s almost 400. My average used to be almost 1000 words per post, but I’ve since embraced brevity a bit more and aim for more like 500-700 on average, though my reviews tend to run longer. I’ll split the difference and call it 800, for a really rough estimate of  … 320,000 words written.

Holy carp.

Holy mother of cod carp.

That doesn’t even seem possible.

Add that all up and it comes to … 565,000 words.

*Passes out*

*Comes to, woozily reads that number again*

Seriously, I think I might need to have a little lie-down. That number is destroying my mind right now. Five hundred sixty-five … thousand … words written since the inception of this blarg. Even if I’m wildly off in my average word count per post here, that’s still 500,000.

It defies logic. It defies belief. I have a full-time job. I have two kids. I have a wife who I spend a not-insignificant amount of time with, not writing. How in the everloving hell have I found the time to write — at all — let alone half a million words? I don’t know how I’ve done it, but the ink doesn’t lie.

Let it never be said that you don’t have time to do the things you want to do. Let it never be said that you don’t know how. I don’t have time to do all this writing. I have no idea what I’m doing.

I’m doing it anyway.

And I plan to keep doing it for quite some time.

If you’re out there reading, you have my thanks. Drop a comment below and let me know if you are!




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