Telling people you’re a writing a book is hard. It can sound really pretentious and it triggers a certain amount of anxiety surrounding the follow up questions. Most people follow up with asking what it’s about, which is tough because I’m bad at explaining what my books are about and I haven’t perfected my elevator pitch. So I end up blurting out a bunch of words like “Western fantasy with mages and wizards and sentient wolf monsters.”
The response that is hardest to react to is when someone tells me “I’ve always wanted to write a book, but I’ve never had time.” Sometimes these people will ask me how I find the time, or about my planning and organizational skills, or my daily writing practice, and I can’t tell if they’re honestly trying to ask how I fit writing into my day or looking for some undiscovered block of time that I have access to and they don’t. Sometimes they just sort of stare at me, and I have to craft some kind of response. I usually say something lame like “Yeah it’s hard,” or “I get that,” because I’m awkward and I have a stash of stock phrases I use to work my way through conversations.
But I want to yell at them. I want to shake them. Because I don’t have time either.
Let me explain, and let me preface this by saying my life is awesome. I have a loving wife, two amazing and healthy children, a house where we can keep our horses, a job I love, and a second job teaching political science to college freshmen. But all those things take time, and there are only so many hours in the day.
So I don’t have time to write. At least not in the sense of being able to sit down at a table with a laptop for an hour and bang out a few pages. Most of my writing I do late at night after the kids have gone to bed, or on my lunch breaks. I wrote most of this blog post in the waiting room of a vet hospital.
There are things I’ve given up for that time. My World of Warcraft characters have been sitting in Northrend for years, I haven’t even opened my copy of Twilight Princess, and I haven’t watched Stranger Things. I’m two or three seasons behind on Vikings, Game of Thrones, and The Last Kingdom, and I haven’t even started Knightfall. There are a lot of people that will write, somewhat pompously, that giving up video games and television are necessary for a writer. I am not one of those people. I miss video games and television, and occasionally I take time off just to do a little catching up.
The point of all this is, I don’t have time to write. I sneak my writing in wherever I can, and I’ve had to cut some things out. Writing is fun for me, and it improves my mental health more than anything else I’ve tried. So it’s not a hard choice to make. But finding that time doesn’t make me a better person than someone who can’t find that time. Do what makes you happy. If that’s writing then by all means figure out a system that lets you write as often and as much as you can. If it’s buying and reading debut fantasy books then go ahead and subscribe to this blog so we can keep you updated on what’s happening with Ranuin’s Gate.