Friday, November 17, 2006

I'm tired, Pt. 2.

How do you guys do it? Granted, I'm a bit older (OK, a lot older) than most of you, but how do you hold a day job, take care of the family and write?
Here's my day: Up at 6 to walk the dogs. Write until it's time for work. Work. Home by 6. Write until 8. Eat dinner. Read or watch a little TV. Let the dogs out. Bed. On the weekends I write until noon, take the afternoon off and write in the evening.
Add to this housekeeping stuff, saying hello to the wife, and one or two nights of playing music and I'm exhausted. I want a day off, but I also want to finish this novel by the new year.
So how do you do it? How do you squeeze work, family, writing and social life into a very short 24 hours?
Because I'm tired. I need a nap.
Annoyance update: What the hell is it with blogger and no spaces? I want my white space.


Jen Jordan said...

Dear David,

One word: Amphetamines.



P.S. Get rid of the dogs. That's at least a chapter every day, dude.

Stuart MacBride said...

I've no idea, but if you find out let me know, OK?

Stacey Cochran said...

In my case, I teach at NC State part-time. That's critical.

I decided when I graduated from grad school five and a half years ago that I would not be denied as a writer. That is, I would not let anything have priority over the writing.

I made a very conscious decision to accept poverty, guilt, self-loathing, and the other ten thousand potential negatives that come with choosing to make writing the Number One priority.

Five and a half years into that decision, I've written ten unpublished novels.

The writing has gotten to the point of a really unhealthy addiction, in fact. Like having a coke habit that's ruining your life, your emotions, everything -- and still I get in there and write every day. Though I fucking hate it and want to kill myself that I'm doing it and because it makes me feel so worthless.

I'm like (to myself): "Bring it on you worthless motherfucker. I've got another novel in me, and I know it'll get rejected by 450 literary agents and every editor in the business. But fuck you, I'm gonna write it. Because I can."

Everything in my life at this point revolves around writing.

It is a savage spiritual and personal crisis and the relentless will to keep writing that compels me.

I think you have to accept self-destruction to pursue writing like this.


Dean said...

Wow, Stacey. I don't think I've got that kind of guts.

My schedule is rather like yours, Dave, except that I have children scattered about, so I write in the early(!) morning. I'm usually up and writing by 5:00 AM. I write until it is time to go to work, and that's usually it. I'm usually too thrashed by the end of the day to write. I sometimes edit, though.

Anonymous said...

Try this, brother: Saturday and Sunday (at one company) 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. … and then at a law firm, Monday midnight through Friday morning (12:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.).

I get 23 hours on Friday before the Saturday job (during which I have to reverse my hours). Monday I get 25 hours (during which I have re-reverse my hours).

The upside is both joints are paying me to write (and they don’t mind what I do during downtime, which there’s enough of to make it feel like my office(s)).

Honestly? Piece of fucking cake, my brother. God bless this country!

David Terrenoire said...


I'm with you, buddy. Every time I start to complain I remind myself that no one is making me do this.

And any day I'm not getting shot at is a good day.

Hell, I could be a dentist.

Anonymous said...

And as we get older, caretaking for one or both parents which is another huge time factor, regardless whether you're caretaking at home or the parent(s) is in some type of facility.

A suggestion: when you're finished with your current deadline, sit down with spouse (after a really good dinner with wine) with a calendar, list all responsibilities, appointments for as far out in the year as possible. And your $ budget so things are taken care of automatically. Be ruthless (and realistic) with your writing schedule -- how much time you estimate for each aspect against appointments, chores, etc. Delegate and get someone else to clean, dog walk, see what can be delivered, messengered, etc. Order gifts, etc., from catalogs. No one ever died bec the house wasn't dusted -- lower lights, light a few candles and no one will notice.

I learned this the hard way and by juggling, juggling and juggling.

It's also possible you're experiencing post-move exhaustion.


Stephen Blackmoore said...

Huh. Maybe I should rethink that cocaine and Provigil regimen I've been on.