Talking About the Craft
There's a whole lot running around the blog-o-sphere about the craft of writing and how certain people "do it." Jay Lake decided his writing career was more important than TV and (video) gaming. He cut them out and hasn't looked back. Shannon Page doesn't own a TV and rarely goes to movies (as in, so far she's seen one in theaters this year and a couple of DVDs). I know Seanan McGuire writes or edits every day or she gets a bit crazy.
Me? I look at the craft a little differently now that I write, edit and publish professionally. I cannot say that I write (as in butt-in-chair-hands-on-keyboard) every day. It just is not possible. But, I do actively do something with my writing career every day. The last couple of weeks have been eaten up with reading submissions for the new anthology I am editing. I have a deadline to make a decision on the Table of Contents by October. No easy feat with the quality of excellent stories I'm dealing with. I should have a decent idea soon.
Which is good. Because I need to spend next week and the following week writing like a fiend on an RPG product that is also due in October. I will enjoy working on this RPG project. However, it will leave me no time to write my own fiction. Especially since I have my "pays-the-bills" writing in and around everything. Also, I have to publish the Edge of Propinquity sometime next week.
So I'm busy. Do I give up TV and gaming as well to get the other writing? No. I don't watch a lot of TV to begin with but when I do, it is usually in the evenings with my husband and I write in the mornings/afternoons. It's time to let my brain recharge and to spend time with my spouse. If I did not work fulltime at home, I probably would give up a couple of my TV evenings with my husband to focus on my writing career.
I think every author does it differently and each author should do what's best for their style of writing. I think those authors with outside fulltime jobs do have to sacrifice a lot of their playtime to get their writing done. I think those authors who work in the publishing industry fulltime or at home need to get away from the keyboard to allow the brain to rest, cogitate and recharge.
What's important is that authors build in writing time, even at the sacrifice of an hour a day of common playtime things like TV and video games. As Jay put it, most people can write 500 words in an hour. That comes out to about 180,000 words of fiction a year. A whole lot of fiction if you ask me.