Author Topic: Moving my home. Still writing in tiny portions of time. How do you deal with it?  (Read 748 times)  

Offline scott.marmorstein

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Moving has presented me (yet again) with monuments of past accumulation, old concepts about "who I used to be" etc. I'm still using the scant free time I have to write (if I didn't, I couldn't imagine also coming here to say anything), and here I am at this moment taking a break. Moving not just myself, but my family, and (what's that Millenial phrase? Adulting?) generally playing grown-up in every scenario. Holding a full-time job, and a part-time gig as a driver for side money.

Perhaps there is some wiggle-room to feel a bit disoriented and estranged from my usual capacity in writing, but also my sense of immediate availability to family and friends. Anyone else going through the challenge of a move, also writing, also doing jobs, raising kid(s), and being there for their spouse? Maybe for some people, this sounds like just another Tuesday (I know it's Saturday), but for me, it's starting to feel like a lot.

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    Offline CaptnAndy

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    The first book I self published, BB-39, in July 2012, was started on a business trip to Japan, in January of 1990. Life can get in the way. You have to take care of the highest priority items first. I could not get serious about writing until I retired for the 4th time in 2011. As of today, I not have over a dozen books on Amazon. I'm not living off the income, but I'm scratching the itch.

    It will be a long shot for you to make a living writing, but I wish you the best.
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    Offline scott.marmorstein

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    I appreciate the wisdom, sir. I'm not sure I'll ever make a living from my writing. I think my goals are still simple. I want to write the best story I can. I want the prose to flow well, the plot to make sense, and more than anything, I want the story itself to enthrall me first.

    Offline Bixso

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    It's okay to have an off period from writing. But when you are committed to doing a project, just go for it. Find the time, and some days you may write more than others, and that's fine.

    As far as being a full time writer, (which is my dream someday as well) you just have to have the mindset for that. It's 99 percent based on luck first of all, and marketing and promoting, advertising, and yeah. It's going to be okay.
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    Offline CloudyCatnap

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    Some days it's really difficult to get to the writing as it is, and I can't imagine having children in the equation on top of moving and working two jobs.
    I commend your hard work, Scott, we just gotta keep going!

    I currently support my significant other while they're in school, and luckily my job isn't too demanding but the financial strain is real.
    My living situation isn't the best and I'm trying to make enough money to move close to them--or at least out of my current residence first.

    It's overwhelming sometimes to sit in front of a computer and just...type out your story, to get into that right mindset for it.
    But once you've pushed yourself there it gets a little easier, it's just finding the time to do it.

    Offline Evenstar

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    I'll stand with you.

    Writing is my full time job. Well, it's supposed to be, but it comes down the list after being a parent/wife and moving house!

    Any my goodness, moving is time consuming isn't it? Every day I'm up at six making packed lunches and getting out clean uniforms. Two hours of arguing and breakfast later and we are out the door on the 'school run'. Then it is tidy up their chaos, dishwasher, laundry and other chores (which are all trebled when you're trying to move house). Shower and eat breakfast (it's 2pm by this point).  Sit down to do work and realise I have only 45 minutes before I need to pick up from school.

    How do I deal with it? Hmm, no sleep? It's currently five to eleven at night, and I've just settled down my youngest who has been up til now with stomach ache, and I'm about to start my daily words. That means I have roughly an hour until midnight (I always try to make myself stop at midnight). I feel like crap and want to go to bed, but if I don't do it right now then it won't get done.

    Is that answer remotely helpful or just depressing, lol.

    Offline PermaStudent

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    My schedule is similar to Evenstar's, but I can't claim full-time status for writing. Until recently, I got in maybe 5-10 hours a week, and those were zombie hours when everyone else was sleeping.

    When it gets too busy, I switch to detailed outlining and snowflake method. If you've got too much going on, just take a break. Moving house is stressful enough without feeling like writing is an obligation (...especially if the bills are paid by other jobs). Focus on what needs your attention now, and the writing will still be there when things settle out.
      I write urban fantasy.  There are girls in gowns and glowy hands on my covers.

    Offline kathrynoh

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    How long does it take to move house? I've moved a bunch of times and packed up everything in 2-3 days. The secret is procrastination, leave everything until the last minute otherwise you just end up unpacking boxes you just packed to find things you need.

    Offline Lady Runa

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    To tell you the truth, taking a brief hiatus won't hurt. I've often noticed that sticking to a rigid daily routine with things like writing, working out or playing an instrument does more harm than good. Our brain does need brief breaks in order to recover and process incoming information. I'm often amazed at the progress I've made after a couple of days' break from these activities. The amount of new ideas and the new level of skill that seems to have been achieved just by doing nothing can be quite stunning.

    Provided it is only a couple of days, of course :)

    Storyteller

    Offline scott.marmorstein

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    I'll stand with you.

    Writing is my full time job. Well, it's supposed to be, but it comes down the list after being a parent/wife and moving house!

    Any my goodness, moving is time consuming isn't it? Every day I'm up at six making packed lunches and getting out clean uniforms. Two hours of arguing and breakfast later and we are out the door on the 'school run'. Then it is tidy up their chaos, dishwasher, laundry and other chores (which are all trebled when you're trying to move house). Shower and eat breakfast (it's 2pm by this point).  Sit down to do work and realise I have only 45 minutes before I need to pick up from school.

    How do I deal with it? Hmm, no sleep? It's currently five to eleven at night, and I've just settled down my youngest who has been up til now with stomach ache, and I'm about to start my daily words. That means I have roughly an hour until midnight (I always try to make myself stop at midnight). I feel like crap and want to go to bed, but if I don't do it right now then it won't get done.

    Is that answer remotely helpful or just depressing, lol.

    Your situation is fuller than mine. I work at a grocery store full time (can't say which one, but if you guessed really hard you'd realize a company we all submit our manuscripts to owns said grocery store). I do ride-sharing. I take care of my kid (singular) who's got Type 1 Diabetes (worse than Type 2, most people don't realize). My wife works 6 days a week. I get home when I get home, help pack, cook dinner, or go to soccer games, and on and on it goes. I get in 30-45 minute stretches of writing time. But my brain feels on fire.

    That being said, you win, unfortunately. You got me beat. On the other hand, my heart goes out to you. I get it on my level.

    Offline scott.marmorstein

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    My schedule is similar to Evenstar's, but I can't claim full-time status for writing. Until recently, I got in maybe 5-10 hours a week, and those were zombie hours when everyone else was sleeping.

    When it gets too busy, I switch to detailed outlining and snowflake method. If you've got too much going on, just take a break. Moving house is stressful enough without feeling like writing is an obligation (...especially if the bills are paid by other jobs). Focus on what needs your attention now, and the writing will still be there when things settle out.

    The hardest thing for me to do: give myself a break. But I know you're right. It's early now, the family is sleeping, and I'm about to get to work writing.

    Offline scott.marmorstein

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    How long does it take to move house? I've moved a bunch of times and packed up everything in 2-3 days. The secret is procrastination, leave everything until the last minute otherwise you just end up unpacking boxes you just packed to find things you need.

    I've moved over twenty some odd times in my life. However, I've been at this location for 8 years. Besides packing, we are in fact getting rid of a lot we just don't want anymore. The time-consuming part is making digital what was once analog. Also deciding what things need to be burned or shredded (old bank records and old bank checks etc.) If we were just shoving stuff in boxes, yeah, it would be pretty quick. But when you're purging too, it takes that much longer. Also, we're hardly able to be home to do it, and by the time we get to the packing part, we're already exhausted from our work away from home. We have until November 1st. Last-minute packing won't do, I'm afraid.

    Offline Evenstar

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    How long does it take to move house? I've moved a bunch of times and packed up everything in 2-3 days. The secret is procrastination, leave everything until the last minute otherwise you just end up unpacking boxes you just packed to find things you need.

    It's different though when you're selling and buying. Plus we've lived in this house nearly 15 years.  Every day involves a mass clean up after the kids trash the house so that it's spotless for viewings. Yesterday I lost three hours on the phone to the mortgage company. Today I've set aside another three hours to fill in the packs for the solicitors. I need to call the land registry, the estate agent and my bank. I also try to go through at least one cupboard a day and sort 15 years of accumulated crap. Some days that task results in a need to go to the tip or the charity shop to get rid of yet more stuff. I can't even face the prospect of the attic! That's going to be days and days and there are big spiders up there, shudder.

    Offline notjohn

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    Tiny portions are all you need. I once wrote a novel in the early morning hours, riding the train from Frankfurt to Kaiserslautern and other German towns, holding my suitcase between my knees as a typewriter stand. Took me eight months.

    (Novel wasn't published, of course. Neither was the next one, but the third one was the charm. I revised and republished it last year, and gosh, did it need revision! I cut 10,000 words, mostly adverbs.)
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    Offline Wayne Stinnett

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    Is this a sudden move? I moved four years ago, yeah it was hectic. But we knew it was coming far in advance and I included the move on my writing schedule. Last month, I spent eight days in St. Pete Beach, Florida for the NINC conference. Care to guess how far that put my writing behind? Zero words.

    Christmas is on December 25th. New Year's Day is on January 1st. Next year's NINC conference is September 23-27 and I plan to be there eight days again. These dates are on my writing schedule, along with birthdays, anniversaries, other holidays, Spring Break, summer, and weekends. I don't fall behind, because I don't schedule writing days when I know it won't be possible.

    I know that doesn't help in your current situation, but it won't get any better until you start planning. When I started, I worked as a trucker and my average week was 70 hours, and that wasn't even counting work I did off the clock in trip planning and preparation. I was gone for up to two weeks and home one or two days. I wrote from the sleeper of the truck and when I was home, I didn't write at all.

    If all you have is two hours in the evening, five days a week, well, that's ten hours of writing. Figure out your average writing speed and you will know how many words a week you can expect to write in an average week, when you will have those ten hours. Create a writing schedule and black out the days you know you can't write. I average 5000 words a week, Monday through Friday. I don't write during the weekend, so they become a fail safe. There's no way I can expect to write 60K words between now and the end of the year, about 12 weeks from now, because I have a Bahamas cruise next week, Veterans Day activities on November 10th (I'm a vet), family coming and going around Thanksgiving, shopping for Christmas, then Christmas itself. So, I plan accordingly.

    Knowing when I will finish a manuscript allows me to schedule my beta readers, editor, proofreader, cover designer, formatter, and narrator. They're busy, too. I delivered my latest manuscript to my editor at 11:45 pm last Sunday, after making the last few notes from my beta readers. The notes were from earlier in the week, but I was at NINC and unplugged. I'd scheduled my editor last spring to start Monday morning and have two weeks to edit the MS. She's also scheduled to edit my next book on March 2nd. The one I haven't even started writing yet. But I'm scheduled to have the 2000 word opening scene completed by October 25th, since I'll be in the Bahamas all next week. And yeah, I have another book scheduled after this one and my editor is scheduled to receive that untitled manuscript on August 24th, 2020.

    "Those who fail to plan, plan to fail." - Benjamin Franklin
    « Last Edit: October 06, 2019, 09:50:06 am by Wayne Stinnett »
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    Offline scott.marmorstein

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    Tiny portions are all you need. I once wrote a novel in the early morning hours, riding the train from Frankfurt to Kaiserslautern and other German towns, holding my suitcase between my knees as a typewriter stand. Took me eight months.

    (Novel wasn't published, of course. Neither was the next one, but the third one was the charm. I revised and republished it last year, and gosh, did it need revision! I cut 10,000 words, mostly adverbs.)

    That's the spirit, notjohn! I do similar crazy things (minus the typewriter). But I commute to my job via car as the driver each day. And my other job is me being the driver of my car for others.

    Offline scott.marmorstein

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    Is this a sudden move?

    Yes, it's very sudden. We only have what's left of this month to move. November 1st is the day. We found out last week!

    Offline Wayne Stinnett

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    Yes, it's very sudden. We only have what's left of this month to move. November 1st is the day. We found out last week!

    But how long have you been planning to move? A floating week or two in your writing schedule, knowing that you'd be moving at some point would be a big stress relief.
    My Bestselling, 18-volume Jesse McDermitt Series and the spinoff,  5-volume Charity Styles Series, also bestsellers, are available in ebook, audiobook, and paperback, wherever books are sold. In my motivational non-fiction, Blue Collar to No Collar, I provide tips, advice, and strategies for new authors, also available in the same formats. Don't forget to visit the Ship's Store for Jesse McDermitt swag.
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    Online Decon

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    I've not just moved house, but moved country. It all started in July last year and have still tons of stuff to resolve including permenant housing. Just now its an endless round of living at different relatives houses in different countries. It's not just moving house though that has intervened, two crashed computers and malware haven't helped. I have finally resolved myself not to write for now until I am settled in my own home at which time I'll buy a new computer and start again.

    I was anxious at not writing at first after spending 10 years writing everyday, but I am finally weaned off it so to speak and quite relaxed about the situation. I think it will take another 6 months before I am settled. Its all about priorities and for me it's been a question that writing is at the bottom of the list.



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    Offline kathrynoh

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    It's different though when you're selling and buying. Plus we've lived in this house nearly 15 years.  Every day involves a mass clean up after the kids trash the house so that it's spotless for viewings. Yesterday I lost three hours on the phone to the mortgage company. Today I've set aside another three hours to fill in the packs for the solicitors. I need to call the land registry, the estate agent and my bank. I also try to go through at least one cupboard a day and sort 15 years of accumulated crap. Some days that task results in a need to go to the tip or the charity shop to get rid of yet more stuff. I can't even face the prospect of the attic! That's going to be days and days and there are big spiders up there, shudder.

    Inspections are worse than moving imo. You feel like the house isn't yours but you're living in a display house.

    Offline scott.marmorstein

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    But how long have you been planning to move? A floating week or two in your writing schedule, knowing that you'd be moving at some point would be a big stress relief.

    There was no planning involved. It became rapidly apparent we could move, and then it just opened up out of the blue. We knew we had to do it for our teenage son's sake as well as for ours--we outgrew our 2-bedroom apartment. We very much go with the flow of what comes up in life, and this move is no exception.

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