These are the signature sheets for Clickers vs. Zombies, which I’ve just finished signing. There are less than 20 copies of the book left. Click here to reserve your copy. They’ll ship soon.
Signing sig sheets isn’t the only bit of work I’ve done this weekend, which brings me to the meat of tonight’s Blog entry. But before you read any further, I’d first like you to read this interview with me over at Serenity J. Banks’ site. That interview was conducted over two years ago, and while much of it remains accurate, a few things have changed. In it, I said, “The thing about writing full-time is that you’re lucky enough to devote however many hours a day to it that you need to. I usually work eight to ten hours a day.” For years, that was how I worked. Monday through Friday, eight to ten hours a day. And when I was younger, those were heady, intoxicating times. I used to write two books simultaneously. I’d work on one in the morning, eat lunch, and then switch over to the second book in the afternoon. Over the last fifteen years, that sort of schedule, energy, and dedication has allowed me to write well over 40 novels, short story collections, novellas, and graphic novels.
But times change and people change. Like Rush says, “nights growing colder, children growing up, old friends growing older.” At a few months shy of 45, I find myself entering Andropause, and caring for my four-year old son Monday through Thursday, as well as making sure his twenty-one-year old brother doesn’t repeat the same mistakes I made at twenty-one (and so far, he hasn’t). At the end of the day, that leaves me pretty damned tired, both physically and mentally. It’s hard to write in that state, and thus, I’ve adapted my work schedule accordingly.
These days, my work schedule is quite different. My toddler goes to his Mom on Thursday night, and that is when my work week begins. On Thursday, I write from 6pm until 4am, and then write four hours a day on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. It was a big adjustment to go from the luxury of five eight-hour days to this new sort of hyper-compressed weekend writing burst, but I made it work because I am a writer. And so are you and so can you.
So often, new writers tell me that they can’t find time to write. I’ve ranted about this at length, but what my advice boils down to is – stop trying to find time to write. If you look for time, you’ll never find it. What you have to do instead is make time. Kids, day-jobs, significant others — these are all a part of life. You make time for all three. If you want to be a writer, you have to make time for that, as well. Maybe you get up extra early and write before heading off to your day job, the way Bev Vincent does. Or maybe you write in the evening, after you’ve come home from that day job, like James A. Moore does. Or maybe, like me, you’re already writing full-time, and are just struggling how to balance that with your other obligations. You just have to figure out what works for you.
I’m not nearly as prolific as I once was. This gnaws at my pulp roots, but that’s okay. Because what I’ve learned is that it doesn’t matter how many books you write a year. What matters is that you write. You make the time to do it and then you sit your ass down in the chair and you write.