Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Small Bites (And Happy Birthday!)

Even though I doubt my little brother ever reads my blog (he's too busy living the carefree life of a bachelor!), I'm still going to wish him a happy birthday today.


Now. Onto the writing...

Small bites. That's what I've been doing this week.

To tell you the truth, when work wasn't as busy, I was much more eager to get home and start writing. Now that I'm completely swamped at the day job, the urge is less apparent. When you write for a living (I'm a copywriter) and also write in your free time, it's a catch 22. On the one hand, my writing has improved by leaps and bounds since I started this job. I write every day and my writing muscle is well-toned. On the other hand, when I write all day, sometimes the very last thing I want to do at night when I get home from work is sit in front of the computer and write some more.

My solution? Small bites. I turn on the laptop every night and force myself to sit down and write. Even if I only manage a page or a paragraph, it's progress and it keeps me in the story. Last night I sat on my front porch swing and enjoyed the beautiful evening and wrote. Moving my location from being chained to a desk to the outdoors also helps.

Here's what I've recognized about myself. I need downtime. I can't come home, sit in front of the laptop, and start writing. I need a few hours to decompress. If I don't get that - well, just ask my husband what happens. *grin* I also don't want to burn myself out.

So I reserve my major writing time for the weekends, when I have lots and lots of uninterrupted hours (well, as uninterrupted as it can be with two kids, four kittens, and three dogs) to dive into the novel.

Are you one of those people that need to decompress after a long day on the job?


  1. I think you totally need down time. good for you for recognizing what works for you.

  2. Absolutely! When I was working full time, I had to have that hour or so to unwind. I was the first one home, and I just did my thing. Sat on the couch, wandered the house, whatever I wanted. Down time. I think it's critical.

  3. I usually need some down time before getting to work. I wonder, though, if I jumped right into it, if I would be more productive. Once I stop and relax it's hard to get moving again. (And truth be told, sometimes I don't!)

  4. It depends. Sometimes I need to decompress (I've also got a writing day job, so can relate to not wanting to type on a screen anymore). Other times I do better if I throw myself into my creative writing right away at the end of the day. Bravo to you for getting in regular writing time after work this week.

  5. Devon Ellington6:31 AM

    Always. When I get home from a show at nearly 1 AM, I need at least two hours of "puttering" before I'm good for anything else.

    Downtime is probably the most important factor in a writer's life. You need to be able to "change worlds" as it were, and that's not something that happens in an instant.

    There's nothing wrong with working in small bites -- eventually, they add up to something bigger.


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