Yesterday was a strange one for me. There was so many things going on, and yet, I feel as if I accomplished nothing. I was up early and I did–what? I can’t tell you, other than I did watch Breaking Bad, and wonder just what’s going to happen in the last few episodes as we see the demise of Walt’s meth empire.
I’d planed on writing and editing and some other things, but damned if the time didn’t simply slip away from me. Oh, actually, now that I think about it, I do know what I did. Oh, boy–yeah, do I know. Anyway, that’s boring; you don’t need to hear about my makeover. You want to hear about other things. I think.
I was chatting with a friend who wants to write. She told me that she’s a horrible procrastinator, that it takes her forever to get an idea out, that she finds it difficult to brainstorm. I offered some advice to help her along, but then remembered that while I was giving this advice, I was also working on something of my own. That’s where so much of the time goes: distractions. There are so many things pulling at everyone at all times that being able to find the time to take this thing so many consider a hobby and making it your work seems impossible.
Yet, the fault lay not in the stars, but in our own inabilities to filter and focus.
Yesterday a friend posted that there are two months remaining until NaNoWriMo. I commented that many attend, few complete, and a lot are on Facebook going, “Hey, I need help, I’m looking for the name of a town . . . and a dragon . . . and my Main Character. Anyone got any ideas?” My first NaNo I was confused by these comments, because my novel was laid out and ready to go, with characters, locations, and definitions, before one word was written, and I didn’t understand why some people were still trying to figure those things out a week into the month of November. (This also led to someone on a group telling me that I was a hack and my novel was going to suck because I didn’t know how to be spontaneous, but I published that sucker and he vanished, so onward–) On my second NaNo I wasn’t surprised by this, and when I do NaNo ’13, I probably won’t venture into the group too often as my time to crank out a couple of thousand words a day will be highly limited. I also know I’ll hit fifty thousand this time around, but won’t finished the novel until December, but that’s another story.
Writing is a time consuming effort. For this short story I’m doing, I must have spent two or three hours, here and there, thinking about what I wanted to say. This for something that’s likely to end up about five thousand words. For some novels I’ve put in weeks of research and thought before writing anything, and when you lay that off against everything you’re written, the time adds up. It becomes a living, breathing thing that can’t be ignored.
And when you’re unfocused and you have a million distractions going on about you, that lost time begins to stretch out before you.
That said, I need to get started on my story . . .