I just “published” Space Spiders on Prom Day – Part 1 on Amazon Kindle. What a trip.
By the time you read this, I imagine blokes in England could be checking it out. Amazing.
Friends and strangers have recently been asking me a question. Note: not true strangers because I have had some conversation with them, so, in essence they are not completely strange to me. However, I do have some friends who are strange.
I’ve been asked how did you create time to write?
I have a wife, two kids (six and ten), and a full-time job. Depending how the writing thing goes will determine how long I have the full-time job. But let me be clear. I like my full-time job. When the time comes I will be “running to” something not “running from” something. Oh, what a joy it will be to write four or five hours a day.
So, my friends say, “When do you find time to write?”
The short answer is in the evening and early in the morning. But that is not the real question they are asking. What they mean or what they want to ask is, “How do you MAKE yourself write?”
The short answer is, I don’t. I don’t MAKE myself write. I LET myself write.
Now, for the long answer.
Do you eat ice cream? (And, if you don’t, substitute eating ice cream with watching TV or playing video games, or something else.) Let’s just say you eat ice cream (even once in awhile). I do.
I don’t make myself eat ice cream. I remember how much I like it and I let myself do it. I plan ahead and buy ice cream when I am Trader Joes. Or, if I really want it, I go out and buy it.
Do you get that? I remember I like it SO much that I will go out of my way to do what I need to do so I can do what I want to do.
I wash a bowl and spoon if I need to so I can enjoy it. I would never stand in the kitchen and say, oh darn, no clean bowls, well, I guess I won’t have any ice cream now.
That’s how I write. I first remember how much I enjoy it.
I set myself up for success by making sure I have the “ice cream” already in the freezer. What do I mean by that?
When I’m really tired at night I will plug in the laptop and open up whatever story I’m writing to the place I am at. I will also pull out a sweatshirt and my slippers (if it’s winter and it’s cold) so when I wake up in the morning I can get warm and be writing in less then 30 seconds. Yes, I make it easy for myself to start.
I teach a workshop called Trading Your Addictions for Creativity.
Writers and artists take it. It helps them to do what they REALLY love to do. Sure, they love to watch TV, Facebook, play Candy Crush, read celebrity magazines, surf the web, etc. etc. but they REALLY love to CREATE and do their ART.
What I have found is that most people have forgotten that they love to write (or insert your choice of creativity – it could be gardening, painting, cooking, dancing, etc.)
I remember what I REALLY love to do.
That, I have found is really the first step to being a writer. This is really the first step to being a Creator. I really have a good time writing. Yes, I watch some TV and I certainly love watching movies but, in all honesty, I have realized that CREATING is usually more fun than consuming.
And, if I’m not creating (writing) then no amount of consuming will fill me up.
Believe it or not, I run to my computer to write.
The second key a writer can take away from the ice cream example above is the idea of setting myself up for success and making “starting” easy.
Starting writing has to be as easy as typing something into Google, popping open your Facebook page, or picking up your remote control and turning on your TV.
Here’s something to think about if you’d like to think about this. Reading another persons book or watching a movie someone else made is SECOND HAND creativity. I do this. And, I love it. BUT, the energy of creativity is SO much more when I write and create myself.
But don’t take my word for it. Try it out.
One last thing, if you don’t enjoy creating (writing, painting, etc.) then you’re doing it wrong. Stop judging yourself or your work. Judging is a great way not to have fun. Judging is a great way to stop productivity. More on that later.