Thanks to recent events my writing has been a bit stop-start. In short, June was a shit month that knocked me down a bit and I have since failed to recover my ‘Hour a Day’ routine that I had diligently stuck to for the first 5 months of 2011. But it wasn’t just what happened in June that was the cause, for a time I did get back into the groove but gradually my enthusiasm waned and I have now abandoned the regime entirely.
For a time it was scary. I thought that was it, that I’d given up writing completely. The dreadful day had come and my brain had totally disengaged and that was that. But it was also refreshing just to have a break and not think about when I was going to get my hour done and if I couldn’t, when I was going to make it up. It had become added pressure that I didn’t really need outside of my day job and had removed any fun from it. It had even gotten to a stage where sometimes I’d sit in front of my computer and just run out the hour without even typing anything. I’d turned writing into something I wasn’t looking forward to, a chore to get out of the way.
So now I’ve got a new routine – writing when I feel like it. I want to write most days but I won’t feel guilty if I’d rather watch a movie or play some games. It might take me longer to get stuff done but at least I’ll enjoy it again. And I am enjoying it. I’ve just gotten back from a much needed holiday away and I’ve already bashed out a synopsis for a new TV idea.
My main reason for the ‘Hour a Day’ was to treat it like more of a profession. I was a runner-up in the Red Planet prize and was ready for them to snap up one of my ideas and for me to get cracking, delivering drafts to deadlines like a proper writer. But that hasn’t happened and they’re now drawing the pitching to a close. I haven’t had a definite no on all my ideas but I’ve got a feeling my style wasn’t what they were looking for. So without a proper production company to send stuff to I feel like I’m back to square one, the hobbyist writer in his bedroom who keeps plugging away.
But the Red Planet experience has given me several ideas which I’m excited about, ideas that get my blood-pumping and make me want to write. I’ve learned writing isn’t supposed to be a prison sentence that you give yourself. You can’t force it into a quantity or a timetable, instead you’ve got find the ‘right’ time, the time when the juices are really flowing, and ride the wave – you just can’t plan when you might catch it again.