As a writer, my art has suffered greatly over the past few months. I have barely had the energy to put words to screen beyond the occasional pithy Facebook post and political rant. There are many reasons for this.
First and foremost is the new job. Let me just start by saying that it is boring and tedious. However, the pay is better, the potential for advancement and raises is MUCH better, and it is pretty steady. This last part is what keeps me from writing much. My job keeps me working on stuff all day, unless I consciously take a few minutes (like now) to not overwork myself. Trust me, they are getting their money’s worth with the amount of time that I do actual work.
In my previous job, I had the luxury of having a lot of down-time that I could use to work on my own stuff. That’s how I managed to write so many RPG products, and several short stories over the last few years. But, alas, those days are gone for the time being.
So, you might be asking about my non-work time. You know, when writers with day-jobs usually pursue their passion for wordsmithing. Well, the other downside of this job is that I am mentally exhausted when I get home. Add to that having to deal with various and sundry distractions in our chaotic house, I end up with very little quiet time for myself. And when I do get that, my brain just says “Screw that blank screen! Let’s watch [insert name of show du jour here] instead.” By the time I’ve had my fill of that…oh, look at the time. If I go to bed and fall asleep now *snicker* I can get a solid six hours of sleep before John Mellencamp wakes me up.
So, you see, I have a lot of excuses. And the sad part is, I am fully aware of the fact that they are just that; excuses. But, I’m one of the laziest, most undisciplined people I know sometimes. And unfortunately, my writing is usually the first thing to suffer for it.
So, how can I get through this, and back into a creative groove? I don’t know for sure, but I’m starting by going back to the beginning, and reading for fun. I’m reading all over the place, in the genres that I like to write. I’m also not nailing myself to a single book. I may read a few chapters, then get distracted by another book, and switch over. Fortunately, I can usually pick up a set-aside book where I left off without much issue, as long as it hasn’t been too long. Right now I have four or five books in various states of being read.
I also ran a session of D&D last weekend. For those who don’t play RPG’s, running a game, especially based on your own ideas and worlds, is a very effective way to get creative juices flowing. A lot interesting tidbits came out of that session, and it really got me thinking about made-up stuff.
Anyways, I’m still working on it all. Someday, I think I might even be able to finish something.