If you’re like me, you’re a writer with a regular job. Writing involves finding cracks in your schedule. Wedging apart things like waking up, going to work, spending time with friends, and making dinner to find those moments. For me, it’s really hard. I make excuses. I procrastinate. It’s not my job. I have other responsibilities. It’s easy when you’re 22 years old and in an MFA program. It’s your time to be selfish. What happens when you graduate?
My excuse is that I need time. Not just a half hour here or two hours there, but four hours of uninterrupted time. That’s pretty ridiculous. I end up going on writing binges and cranking something out, but then go months without writing anything new. I’ve counteracted this by taking creative writing classes (free through the university where I’m a librarian) and that works, but it’s not sustainable. I get tired of the class. Feel like my time would be better spent writing for three hours a night, than critiquing undergrad’s work.
Enter Radiolab. Confused? Don’t be. A while ago I heard this podcast called Help! and the first segment was about a woman, Zelda, who quit smoking. She quit smoking through leverage. The leverage was, if she smoked, she would donate $5,000 to the KKK. As a staunch liberal, the KKK was a group Zelda hated. So, not only is there a monetary loss, but Zelda would support a group she despised. The result was Zelda quit smoking.
Writing isn’t my job, but why can’t I make it? Let’s say I have $400 disposable income each month. Instead of just keeping it in my checking account, I put it in R’s account. Each week I can earn $100 if I produce x amount of writing. Let’s say, ten pages of fiction and four poems. If I don’t, R gets to donate that money to something I hate.
I’ll start the process when I get back from TN.
How do you stay writing? What things do you internally struggle with? More importantly, what groups are so despicable you wouldn’t want them to get my hard-earned cash?
I’m not paid to be a writer, then again a vocation isn’t a job.