Making Time to “Work”

These days, I’ve got two problems. I think you’ll relate.

  1. People who say, “That’s [writing] not a job,” or “You don’t know what work is.”
    Well guess what, it is work. Even when you love your job, some days, it’s still work. (Ask a rock star.) I’ve been working in some way or another since I was twelve; I’m familiar with so called “real work,” which around here seems to refer to physical labor. I’m here to tell you that I’d much rather be physically exhausted than mentally exhausted. (One of my fellow Ball State Cardinals wrote a great blog on the subject of writing being work . Check it out here.)

    I think it’s common for people to have this view of writing, perhaps more so here in the midwest, but it still gets to me. (What do you say to these people? Anything?)

  2. Finding the time to work.
    Summer daySee this? It’s gorgeous outside. It’s summer, it’s hot, and for every moment that I’m not with grandpa, I’ve got this sparkling pool at my disposal with a begging nephew calling my name. When I finally get a moment to myself, all I want to do is skip and somersault out of this house screaming FREEDOM! Forcing myself to stay in or go to the library and get some work done is near mental anguish.

    I was warned. “When school is over, there’s no one forcing you to get it done. You’re on your own and you have to find a schedule that works for you and stick to it.” I’m paraphrasing here, but this is just about what every writing professor I’ve ever had has preached at the end of each semester. I wasn’t dumb enough to ignore the warning, but it was easier to say I can do it when I was sitting there in the comfort of their classroom. I thought about it, I even planned for it, but here I am, smack dab in the middle of real life, literally staring at the schedule on the wall that doesn’t seem to be the one that works for me, and I’m looking for anything to make me stick to it.

    My situation with grandpa isn’t a special circumstance. Every writer I know has a day job, something that makes them want to come home and relax or hang out with their families rather than bang out 2K words, or whatever their daily goal may be. What I want to know is what they, or you, do or say to yourself to get up and write. I’ve got so many thoughts and words swirling around in my head; I need the inspiration to put them down on paper.


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