How I Spend My Writing Time

Facebook is a double-edged sword

Most often, it’s a time suck –  Candy Crush, and Pearl’s Peril gobble up what little time I have in the evening for writing. My husband will make casual inquiries about how the book is going, even though he can plainly see my computer screen from his spot on the sofa.

“I need complete silence to write. I can’t do it while you’re watching the news.”

He narrows his eyes, “Hmmm.  So, you wrote this morning then?”

I pretend I don’t hear him and keep matching candies.

Facebook can also be a gift

On the other hand, social media allows many of us to commiserate with other writers/writing groups we would never run into anywhere else. The Writer’s Circle is one such group.

They have a website with lists of writing jobs, online courses and other things, but so far, I’ve only viewed their Facebook page and “liked” some of their pics and one liners. It’s helpful knowing nine hundred people are having the same problems you are (after all, y’all liked the same pics I did). It’s nice to connect with a group, no matter how peripheral the attachment. The Time Breakdown of the Writing Process below is one of the pics I’ve recently liked.

From The Writer's Circle

From The Writer’s Circle

My writing process is slightly altered:

I would flip time spent thinking of a title and time spent reading other books. In fact, I haven’t really spent much time at all thinking about a title. Crap.  Now I’m going to have to start thinking about a title.

Time spent procrastinating, for me, would NOT be cleaning the house. Actually writing is a way for me to procrastinate from doing the housework! I’m more inclined to procrastinate by playing with the cats, watching TV and playing the aforementioned Facebook games.

The piece of pie for comma placement is pretty big – instead, this would be the time I spend working on historical research and blogging about writing. All are important parts of the writing process but don’t, on their own, reward me with a higher word count.

The piece of the writing pie that is “time spent actually writing” is spot on.

The piece for “time spent staring blankly at the computer” is about right too.  Also in this piece of the pie – staring blankly at the time line I created in my last blog post. I also spend a fair amount of time wishing my historical inspiration would take over my hands and write the story herself. Or, because possession scares the daylights out of me, dictate the story to me and I’ll transcribe it. Maybe her diary could mysteriously show up outside my front door. I could meet a local historian at the grocery store and we become fast friends and together we piece together my character’s story. My character still has descendants living in the city and maybe I could just show up at their door and they would welcome me with open arms.

I’ve done plenty of daydreaming about how the writing of this book might go down.

All while staring blankly at the computer.

Word count: 4,893



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2 responses to “How I Spend My Writing Time

  1. iggy23

    This is why I’m not very inclined to write a full length book! I fear that my procrastination will just bring more misery to me while in my mind, I know that I should be doing more for my writing. I stick to short stories because I can complete them fairly quickly and I think I’ve developed my writing using these as platforms. Writing a book may be a bridge too far for me now but for others like you, through sheer determination, I believe that it will be a dream that can be materialised 🙂


    • I’ve felt that way too about writing a book. In fact, almost everything I’ve written in the past is magazine articles. I wrote a few articles for the web, some personal essays and I’ve been blogging for years. I love reading short stories – they can be the most powerful works to read because they don’t mess about with too much information. Short stories get right to the point without it being convoluted like books sometimes become.

      I was always envious of other writers at conferences who managed to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) with enough determination to write their first novel. I was even more jealous of those who were on their second or third. My biggest thing before was that I didn’t think I had any ideas that were novel length stories. But now I’ve got a story I’m passionate about and it’s making me take the plunge. The character has been dancing around in my head for a couple of years – she’s giving me no peace. She’s forcing my hand. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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