Blog Archive

Thursday, October 14, 2010

I can't write

I have too damn much going on in my life right now. This semester is rough--I'm having a very hard time finding any motivation for school at all (and I'm not the only one; several of my cohorts have voiced the same sentiment. Just something odd about this semester, it's hard to get motivated or excited about my classes). Still, I have to keep plugging ahead. Gotta keep the grades up and get through as best I can.

My day job has been the very definition of stress lately. It doesn't suck as much as it did a few months ago, but it's just way too much on the plate all at once. I get home completely exhausted, physically and mentally, and somehow have to find a way to get through my online courses. Sometimes that results in personal days off work which are then dedicated to catchup in classes.

On top of that, I have my three gaming groups. The commitment here is minor, but it is two days a week (Sunday and Thursday), and one Friday (roughly) every other week. Saturdays I spend trying unsuccessfully to get things done around the house and trying with very minor success to keep in touch with my folks and sister so they know I'm still alive.

The point is, between all of this, I find myself with no time or energy to write. I just realized yesterday that the novel I have in progress, I have been working on for over a year. That's just inexcusable. The characters are there, in my head, scratching at the backs of my eyeballs and begging to get out. I just can't find the hours to sit down and bang out the remainder of the book. It's sad; I used to get on writers who would claim they didn't have time to write. That's just an excuse, I'd say, and often it is. But now, I really don't have the time and it's killing me. I have two more gaming books greenlit (as soon as I get contracts, anyway) and I've no clue when or how I'm going to get those started, let alone done.

Something's gotta give, here. I'd drop a gaming group in a New York Minute, save that in each of the groups there are people I only get to see in the context of that group. People whose company I enjoy but whom I would never see at all if we didn't have that scheduled time to socialize. That's just how crazy everyone's lives are.

Not being able to write is killing me. My last job (well, the one before last--the last one doesn't count at all) afforded me the free time and privacy to bang out a chapter here and there when I wanted to. It was also a very laid back atmosphere where they were okay with that. Not so at this one. The work is nearly constant (noted by the fact that it's taken me over an hour to write this blog during quick breaths) so I can't get into the kind of zone or flow you need to in order to do fiction. Not to mention, you shouldn't really be working on personal work at your day job anyway.

My favorite cafe, the Beehive, where I used to get a lot of writing done, has gotten a liquor license. They're a South Side dive bar, now, which happens to serve coffee. The inside looks the same (save the beer taps and liquor bottles) but the atmosphere is completely changed. So I've lost that, now. I used to go there after work and try to hammer out a bit. Now all I've got are corporate chain cafes with no soul to them. And I know if I go home I'm just going to be mentally beaten and collapse on the couch.

This is another problem--I've gotten too sedentary. I need to exercise and get healthier. But if I don't have enough time or energy to write, how can I muster up the time and energy to work out?

Ugh. One thing is certain, as I said: something's gotta give. My physical and mental health are far from optimal right now and I need to get back.


  1. "But if I don't have enough time or energy to write, how can I muster up the time and energy to work out?"

    that's the killer!!! i was starting to get really out of shape and had to add an exercise routine to my after-work activites, which obviously eats up a lot of writing time.

    --Jess McHugh

    i don't know about you, but writing keeps me sane and centered. maybe just trying to dedicate one weekend day (if you have it) to getting out all of your frustrations with a short (violent ones work best) story?

  2. I decided to start exercising a few weeks ago. I go swim for half an hour. The odd thing that happens is that I have more energy for other things as well.

  3. I agree with Matt. I have running every morning and I have a ton more energy to do other things.

  4. If you want something done give it to a busy man.

    As the previous two posters have said, the more hobbies you have the more you achieve.

    I can only advise the standard stuff:
    Make time for writing.
    Find a little corner, put up something that inspires you.
    Aim to do a quota each day.
    Go for a walk, get some fresh air - rarely does inspiration arrive when you're actually at your desk.

    The more divergent your hobbies (i.e. physical, mental) the more you will relish them as you work on them.

    Best of luck and happy writing.


Sophia, Goddess of Wisdom, and Mary Magdalene.

I'm not a mad bible thumper--Sophia, however, is my inspiration and always in my heart