One of the biggest problems I face in my life as an aspiring author is the lack of writing time than is on offer to me, there simply isn’t enough. The word ‘aspiring’ should tell you that I am not yet (if ever) earning an income solely from writing and as a result have to hold down a day job which is a great way to eat up forty hours of any given week. Then you have to add commuting which is another forty minutes per day or three hours and twenty minutes per week!
After work come the best hours of the day, the ones spent with my son and fiancee and a time when writing has to take a back seat. After our evening meal, a hot bath and once my 6 year old has finally gone to sleep I can then whip out the aging Dell laptop and take to the keyboard like Little Richard on a piano. Usually I start at about 8 o’clock and continue through until 11 or 12 but during those 3-4 hours my attention does get dragged to the lady of the house and to the television which is fine but does eat up time.
Even at the weekend I only have those few nighttime hours in which to create something hopefully intriguing and exciting, this has an upside and a down. The upside is that almost every single evening is spent on Microsoft word as I try to cram as much into my few hours as is humanly possible. Writing night after night however leaves little time for anything else, by this I of course mean ‘man time’. There are evenings when there is a family occasion or if we are out for any reason and of course no writing gets done although it is always at the back of the mind…always.
Free time used to consist of many things before the need to write forced its way into my life and took over completely, things that still interest me but have taken a back seat for a few years now. There is simply too much media to choose from!
On those odd occasions when I do decide to forego writing for the evening the options open to me are vast, unfamiliar and daunting. Sitting under the television is a SKY+ box with a planner filled with hours of recorded movies and television shows, billions of dollars of entertainment to tantalize the senses and imagination but alas some will be deleted simply to make room for more! Some of the U.S shows such as the Walking dead and the Game of Thrones cannot be missed and are watched by me at the hour of broadcast but others are recorded (the Strain, Outcast, Westworld) and then binge watched at a later date, some however take up too much space and are sadly deleted…forever (or until a rerun).
Over a hundred Dvd’s are stacked in racks upstairs and not one has been played ever since I began jotting down the ramblings from within my skull and the same can be said of the tub of Xbox 360 games that are gathering dust under my bed…thick dust. Then there is YouTube which can be lethal in the world of wasting time as perusing a simple 3 minute video can snowball into a three hour marathon of classic boxing, idiots falling over and other assorted entertaining nonsense.
There are dozens of books here in both traditional paper and Ebook format that will be read and are being slowly but surely, they call out from the shelves with exciting covers begging to be read. The internet is another great way to eat up time as well from checking the football/rugby scores to browsing Amazon to almost anything else, that too can snowball until the battery in your smartphone is dead or two hours has gone and it is time for bed.
There is too much choice for an indecisive soul such as me and so in the end when I do get a few hours that I have chosen not to dedicate to writing I usually sit there for an hour trying to decide what to do e.g. Telly, Xbox, movie, book or online and when I cannot make up my mind I just sit there flicking through the Sky channels until I find something interesting or funny or sometimes I find a movie that is already half way through. Sometimes I find nothing and after a few minutes of Twitter I go to bed wishing I had knuckled down and written a page or two.