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So, I’ve been trying to find some time to write every day. It’s been a struggle. And by write, I mean write out my characters, write out backstory, write out where I want the plot to go, how I think it should go, and planning how I want events to kind of unfold so once November starts I can just blaze right thought my word count goals. At least, you know, that’s the hope with all this planning. So long as it’s not the end of day one with me crying into a corner because I can’t get my words out. Anything but that again.
But, as most who work a day job while trying to get their author career off the dirt floor knows, trying to find time to write can be difficult.
I’m not a morning person, by any stretch of the imagination. My alarm goes off at 6:30 am Monday through Friday, and during the Fall and Winter when it’s dark outside at that time because the sun hasn’t even come up, I wonder to myself what kind of sadist I have to be to do this to myself five days a week. I also wonder just how long I can get away with that snooze button before I’m in trouble. Sometimes during Spring and Summer when it’s bright out by 5am, I sometimes wake up early but it’s not often. That makes trying to get up earlier just to write an issue. My brain can’t fathom why I’m up doing anything when the sun is out anymore. And I know, I know, that officially marks me as old. But life happened and I’m just not twenty anymore, I miss those days though. Those were the days when I’d go camping and sit out by the fire all night just watching the stars and moon in the sky fade into pretty colors as the sun came up behind the tree line. I wouldn’t go to bed after that either, but just roll right into the next day and keep on trucking. That girl, more specifically, that energy is just gone.
To be honest, it left the year my Dad died, when Mom and I realized just how much he did around the house with his retired self while the two of us were out working. Laundry was mysteriously just done. The Cats weren’t crying because it’s 8pm, I’ve finally finished dinner, and before I can go to bed their box needs to be cleaned. Hell, because Dad was diabetic, we made sure we were out the door and on the way home no later than 5pm so we could get home to cook dinner because he had to eat by 6pm. And groceries were listed on the back door and he’d go out and get them while we were at work too. All those little things that you sit there and wonder how the hell they’ll get done now, and how do you have to rearrange your schedule to get them done again? Yeah. We’re still, in some ways, figuring out just how to get it all done. Most of my energy went there. To keeping the house going.
I come home and by the time dinner is done and cleaned up it’s 8/9pm. And I look over at my computer and all I can do is wave at it before falling into bed. To boot, ever since I’ve had my concussion, my migraines and headaches have been back with a vengeance, so by the end of the day I don’t even want to look at a computer screen anymore.
Can you see where my problems lay now? When do I write? If morning is out, and after work is out, when does the writing commence?
That’s the key question I’ve been having trouble figuring out. Truth be told, I’ve been carving out my weekends to do nothing but cleaning and writing recently. But when November hits that won’t exactly keep me in the game. It’s those little windows of between while at work that, for me at least, make up all the difference. If I finish something complicated for one of my faculty, I pause a little but and work on some writing or planning. Only about five minutes worth, but that’s 5 minutes worth that I won’t have to try and fit in later. Waiting for my Mom to come over and join me for lunch? I write at that point too. I also have this half hour window where I’m at work, and at my desk, but I haven’t actually started my time yet that I try to get some things done as well.
Basically, it’s all those little spaces. And there’s a website that I’ve found that’s been making those little windows of time all the more fun. The website? 4thewords.com
Now, you may be asking yourself, how exactly does the website make writing more fun? Most websites tend to distract and get you off your groove. But 4theWords actually helps. Basically it makes writing like a game. You use your words to battle and defeat creatures that then drop loot to help you level up and move on in your game.
Now, I know some out there are probably sitting there going. ‘but if you want to be a writer, you shouldn’t need a game to make it fun for you.’ And you’d be right. I don’t NEED to make it fun for me. But. It is a big encouragement to write if you know you’ll be taking down a giant spider with your next 800 words. Word Sprints become all the more fun because you’re getting coins and loot and joining other people in their quests too.
Do I need 4theWords to get me writing and get my words down on paper? No. I don’t need it. But I am enjoying it. In the last 7 days it has spurred me into getting on and writing instead of wandering to Facebook to play a game or Netflix to watch a tv show I need to catch up on, and I’ve written almost 8,000 words. It’s helped me put away the distractions. Maybe part of it is because it’s shiny and a game and I love games, but in the end, does it really matter why I’m writing if I’m writing? I don’t think so.
Let me know if you decide to join 4theWords. And let me know if you’re doing NaNo. We can cheer each other on for one, or the other, or both!
(Also, this blog post was not sponsored, I just am really loving it that much)