Monday, 27 August 2012

All Work and No Play

There have been times where I’ve tried to boost my productivity in writing by cutting back on my reading and TV and movie watching.  I do spend a lot of time immersed in other people’s stories and sometimes I think I should cut back and focus on telling my own stories.

But I’m learning the balance is more complicated than it looks.  I’ve tried severe cutbacks and I’ve discovered that shutting down my input also shuts down my output.  It’s like my creativity has to be stimulated by being exposed to new information and ideas.  I noticed a long time ago that it’s harder for me to write during the TV off-season.  And I was in almost complete creative lockdown when I was first in university.  I was forcing myself to read a lot of difficult and dense texts and had no TV in the dorm.

Later, I found a better balance and while my education may have suffered, I found my voice again. 

If I want to be a professional writer, I will need to find ways to boost my output.  Right now, it takes me too long to write a novel.  To have a profitable career, I would need to be able to turn out a draft in less than six months.  While still having time for rewrites and promotion.

It’s a big commitment.  I suspect I will have to cut down but I’ll have to find the balance where I don’t shut myself down.

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