Thursday, April 25, 2013

Sacrifices in Writing

I stopped by the KillZone the other day and read a post by James Scott Bell on self-publishing. And one of the things he discussed was how writers needed to treat writing like a sacrifice.

Be prepared to give some things up (TV is a jealous mistress, too) in order to find time to write.”

And that prompted me to compile a list of the things I’ve given up the past couple of years to pursue my dream of being a published writer.

Television. I used to watch a lot of TV. Now I watch one DVR’ed show a night, together with my wife.

Video games. I was addicted to them several years ago, but that was before being bitten by the writing bug. The only time I play these days is online with my brother on Saturday nights – although I have been known to sneak in a few minutes of Minecraft whenever I’m stuck in the middle of writing a scene. I used to tell my kids which video games were best. Now they tell me.

Sleep. I’m sure all writers sacrifice sleep for their art. Sometimes my only chance to write comes when everyone else is in bed. Unfortunately, I’ve discovered my muse is usually asleep then too.

The Internet. Visiting websites having nothing to do with writing doesn't happen much anymore.

Gardening. I used to plan each year’s flower garden beginning in February and keep tweaking the design until it was time to plant in May. Now I plant as little as possible as quickly as possible and hope everything turns out okay as the summer progresses.

Free time. By definition, free time means writing time, so it's no longer free.


So what about you?  What have you given up for writing?

12 comments:

  1. Not much, just my sanity. It wasn't doing me any good anyway, so I figured it's no big loss.

    I gave up TV before I started writing, but I do miss playing my video games (though I do still find some time for Halo!).

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    1. I scarcely remember what it used to be like when I played games all the time. Now I have no clue what games are even available these days.

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  2. I gave up a lot of video game time. Free time feels like just a myth now.
    Internet increased, because I wasn't even online when I signed my first contract.
    And I get it double, because I'm also a musician as well.

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  3. Our lists are very similar. I'd have to add sanity. Although I'm not sure I can claim to have given it up; some say I never had it anyway.

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    1. A lack of sanity is what makes us writers, I think.

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  4. Oh, man. That is almost identical to my list. And I love doing what I traded those things for, so I guess it's all good, right?

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  5. I gave up games between my first and second child. I actually started writing because gardening got too painful. Then the rest of your list went too. I watch DVR'd TV two or three times a week when enough cleaning projects pile up to last one show. I even stopped reading the newspaper once I started blogging. Now editing is edging out my writing time too. But I like it as much, so I'm not complaining.

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  6. I never really slept much and didn't watch TV, so I gave up working so hard on university assignments/readings ;)
    Planned procrastination.

    Shhh, don't tell!

    (but it works!)

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    1. I wish I could get by with less sleep, but every time I try, things just fall apart. Thanks for the comment.

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  7. Your list sounds a lot like mine, Ken! Really, though, I don't really miss the old days. Writing is so much more fulfilling. :)

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    1. Yeah, I have to admit, writing is more fun than those other things, else I wouldn't be doing it in the first place.

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