Let me present three scenarios
1. Life as a full-time student with friends and fun and stuff
3. Life as a jobless bum.
Scenario the first
Here I am, chugging away at college. Busy as hell, pretending to be a good student, going out in the evenings occasionally. The time I have for writing is pretty limited to late at night when I should be doing other things (like homework or papers, or dare I say, sleeping) and the half-hour between classes because I live off-campus at the wrong end (the end not near any of my classes), so if it’s less than an hour between them, it’s a waste of my time to go home. In other words, maybe two hours a day if I’m lucky. Yet, I produce. Not a lot of writing, mind you, but consistently writing just about every day. I squeeze it into the spare moments because I have to if I want to write.
Scenario the second
Pick any NaNoWriMo from 2006 out. Each one I’ve written more words than the year before, but it’s always been a rush. My entire life gets rescheduled. Friends get told that they won’t get to see me more than once a week. I decide if I really *have* to go to all my lectures, and which ones I can miss. I stay up to obscene hours of the night and go with little sleep and fewer showers for thirty days. I’m on an adrenaline high basically the whole time. My hands hurt at first, my brain hurts in the second week, I’m sick of it by the third week, but I finish in a fking triumph. It’s like when I ran cross-country in high school. When my coach was shouting at mile times at the second mile (of a 5k, 3.1 miles), I usually wanted nothing more than to collapse in a heap. But when I crossed the finish line, I always felt like I could run another 5k. That’s how NaNo makes me feel.
Scenario the Third
I play lots of sudoku. I’m actually getting really good at it. I also play lots of Freecell. Not so much solitaire, because it’s my secret suspicion that it’s rigged against me. I spend lots of times browsing sites like Nanowrimo, Absolute Write, and FSTDT. I do look for jobs, but that’s starting to become even more of a chore than it used to be. I make dinner. I watch lots of television.
Oh yeah. That writing thing. That thing that I used to spend ridiculous amounts of time doing. yeah. Well, I do that sometimes, too. But not as much, and not with as much enthusiasm as I used to.
And that’s the problem. When I was busy, or trying to do something impossible, putting writing into my life/schedule was easy. I looked forward to it and treasured the time I got to sit down and write something. Now that I’ve been unemployed for nearly a whole fking year (a fking YEAR), there are so many other distractions, because it’s so easy to say, well, I’ll do that tomorrow or later or something. Because there’s this Shiny Thing I want to do now. And there are an endless succession of Shiny Things. Maybe it’s because I’m not properly dedicated or something. I’ve started to think that although it is my dream to be a published author, that maybe I’m not in the state of mind or attitude to even consider, were it possible, to be a full-time writer. (and yeah, I know it’s a minuscule percentage of writers who can do that, but still).
Sometimes busyness is good.
Wish I was.