It’s no secret to writers that time is a precious commodity. Between work, bicycle commuting, and sleeping, a big chunk of the day vanishes. And worse, I’m going to list some stupid things that really pull me away from writing.
Model Railroading: How can toy trains get in the way of a writer’s career? Well, I’m VP of a big club. We need to keep the lights on so it means running operations (to make the members happy) and doing shows (to get even more members). Normally Monday and Wednesday nights, I’m over at the club working on our sectional layout. Last weekend, we were at a show for two days. It’s a lot of fun and provides a sense of achievement but it does burn time. And I haven’t hosted a session at home in months!
Spelunky: I like computer games but not most of the modern ones. But Spelunky is king! It’s a platformer that randomizes each time so it’s always different and there are no patterns. Games are quick – you die. You die. You die again. Cobras spit venom at you. Rocks crash into your head. Ghosts suck the life out of you. And after each death I swear I’m going to quit. Well, after one more game. (If you’d like to play, look to the left menu tab for Free Games and follow the link. The original Spelunky is free. And the new one? A couple of bucks, and even harder, gads!)
Game Development: Sure, it’s one thing to write about time travel and seedy spaceports, but it’s another to live it. I found that my professional skills in Excel have led to me making larger and larger simulations, all that were fun to write and funner to play. But this takes time – generally Tuesday and Thursday nights are usually spent in working on games, making them better and better. (And these games, like Spelunky, are free. Go to my sister site under the left Free Games tab and follow the link to GridSims. Games for free, which you can play today if you have Excel on your home PC).
Roku: For Christmas, my brother bought me one of these units, which allow your TV to find all those internet TV channels. Thousands and thousands of movies, TV shows, videos, whatever. He’s trying to get me to watch Breaking Bad and Walking Dead, but right now we’re slowly pacing through Justified. You want a time-burner? Just put all your free time in a pile, pour gasoline on it, and light it. Thanks, Mike! (no really, it’s great and you suck).
So, what’s a writer to do?
With all this, I’ve still managed to carve out three-to-five hours a week to write. Where? At lunch at work. With my tinytop, I can sit down and evade the work gripes and gossip and just enjoy my art. And that’s what it takes to do this – finding time to get something done. For you with children, demanding spouses, hectic jobs, you’ll need to do likewise. Somewhere in your life there is a small clump of time that could be better used. Find it. Stake it out. Guard it. And enjoy it!