Thursday, 25 August 2011

time management (or lack of)

random clock picture
I bought a time management book a couple of years ago. 

It had been packaged to look all modern, but inside the advice basically consisted of 'get your secretary to do it'. Presumably it was written in ye olden days when you could smoke in offices and people used typewriters and all managers had secretaries to brighten up the place and do a bit of light shorthand.

In the brave new world of doing everything for yourself, it was entirely flipping useless.

I'm not sure whether time management techniques really work for creative writing. I can go for ages without writing (see: the last few months), and then be inspired be a random conversation and plunge straight back into it (see: last night).

I should add that it's different, I think, with a commission and a deadline. But for me, ongoing creative writing happens when it happens.

Having said all this, I do find the following things help:

1. Don't be afraid of writing rubbish: the longer I leave it, the harder it can seem to get back into it. It becomes more of a big deal. So I think there's definitely an argument for writing a scene or two even if you're pretty sure it's crap because it's still writing and it counts for something and it can be edited.

2. Using scraps of time: I've never sat down and devoted a day to writing. Not even an afternoon. It doesn't work for me. I feel under pressure. I procrastinate. Instead I write in the gaps between all my other work. Half an hour seems like an optimum time for the creative stuff. I can do longer in an editing phase, because it doesn't require the same amount of raw energy. Editing is more of a reflective, biscuits and cups of tea phase.

3. Um, that's it. Those are the things I do.

I'm not exactly filled with hints and tips today. But always interested in hearing other people's techniques...


Brian Keaney said...

My hint or tip is write whether you feel like it or not.

easily distracted writer said...

YES! I know this in theory, but sometimes my mind is completely blank... I suppose those are the days to just write anything without any regard for if it's any good or not!