Finding time to write


My previous post was in 2018, why it is taking me so long to post again? I love to write but something is getting on the way.

If there are two things I really love they are reading and writing. Books and notebooks have been a large part of my life since I can remember but in recent years I haven’t been able to write as much as I want and I am feeling quite frustrated about it. After thinking a while about why this is happening I came up with some conclusions that might benefit others.

Most successful writers will tell you that part of the secret for being successful is having a routine and I think that my problem lies exactly there. I have no routine. My days have been quite chaotic for the past years. As a remote worker with a very flexible working hours, I’ve been able to start and stop working without a fixed time table and that played havoc with any kind of habit forming that helps one acquire or unlock any repetitive skill. I used to write better when I had a routine. Now, I feel like a semi-literate person, but I am digressing, lets get back on topic: routines.

I am a morning person. Yes, the kind of person you hate. No, I don’t need coffee in the morning, though I love it. I get up full of hope. My ideal morning is when I wake up, put some clothes and exit the house to go to a coffee shop and watch the city wake up. Today, I was at the coffee shop at 7h45 AM, one of the first customers. I sat down by the large window that overlooks a little plaza and watched people passing by while I checked the news, emails and other social network stuff. This early is when I am most productive, it is when I am full of energy. My happiness degrades over time and by 18h00 I am usually tired, grumpy and not curious enough to do anything interesting, much less creative stuff like writing. This is probably the kernel of my writing block. I wake up really happy, have a ton of ideas for good posts, new books, articles, software, etc, then I spent the day working (not that my work bothers me, it is great work) and by the time I am free to pursue my own projects, I just want to sit down and enjoy some non-creative less-action hobby like a book or watching a series. I need to change that if I am to be happy.

Anecdote from the past: I used to write a lot. I graduated from a film school in Brazil and my favourite thing was writing scripts. I also loved bars and rum and coke mixers. I used to go every day to some student bars near the uni, sit down with my Newton 2000 (and keyboard) and write. That machine was really productive. No internet, eternal batteries. I could just sit down and focus. I wrote tons of scripts and exercises back then, most of which I never showed to anyone. I just wanted to do it and it felt good. I want to get back into that kind of zone.

So, I just took the first step towards my creative happiness. I identified what is my current problem — lack of energy — and am thinking some solutions, among which these appear to be the most crucial take-aways:

  • Find a time where my energy is not depleted. In my case, mornings.
  • Don’t let this hobby routine interfere with my work, which can be read as wake up earlier so that you can enjoy more morning time, after all writing takes time.
  • Make an effort to write every day or every couple days in the morning for a week or two and gauge happiness.

And this is where I am now, trying to make a real effort towards the stuff I want to do. I am looking forward to see if this pans out.

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