A friend wrote an blog entry recently bemoaning the lack of time we seem to have in our lives – time to sit and absorb all the information gathered during the day, time to sit and do all the little things we enjoy doing whenever we get a chance.
It’s a state I, unfortunately, can relate to as I seem to fill my evenings with crazy amounts of stuff but rarely get to sit down locked in my study with my reference material and inspirational nest of clutter to work on my novel.
But, rather than continue to bemoan the fact that I don’t get to do all the things I want to (writing, kit making, embroidery, designing cross-stitch patterns for kit embroidery, larping, writing larp missions, playing computer games, reading … I know there is more …), I want to add my thoughts on how to keep doing with what little time I have to spare.
Keeping up with 750 words has helped, if only to blow away the distracting thoughts of fnh fanfluff, future Rowan or exploring Rowan’s past to help develop my character for game up-time or to keep the imagination muscle ticking over. I might start putting up more Rowan fluff or general fnh fanfluff if people are interested, otherwise just give me a prod and I’ll send you the bits I’m happy with. It’s also assisted in keeping me productive at work – a good thing with this amazing weather we’ve had the last few days.
Fools and Heroes is definitely helping with keep the imagination alive – it’s something about the atmosphere of an event that just feeds my ideas (which is BAD when having to drive home afterwards with the sun a crazy angle trying to blind me. But we got home in one piece). Not sure if it’s all the lovely keen people who have stories to tell of their own character/exploits or the imagination of the plot writers and referees in providing the heroes with missions and the monsters with fun roles to big up, or if it’s simply the fact that as a player you have to imagine what’s happening – see the world around you not as it is but as it should be; forests stretching for miles, brooding hillsides, sinister shadows, danger around every corner and a diverse range of creatures and cultures. It’s the things I love about FnH – your mind can imagine so much and if its doo-able, then it’s going to turn up at some point to the horror of the player party.
Even just being able to bounce crazy ideas off another keen writer has given me the boost to keep writing daily(ish). We seem to bounce off each other, writing stuff to feed the other person’s writing, to then gain sustenance from their own offering. I’ve had such a kick out of working on some future Rowan fluff and getting told “Write more, you need to write more! What happens next?” Maybe I’m a needy artist who needs praise to feel good about it, but I don’t really mind any more – it’s awesome!
I also try to make time for things – for example I keep trying to keep Thursday nights free to allow me to do things that I need to do. For the past few weeks it’s been interview prep, job hunting, applications, wedding stuff or just taking a few hours to go “urgh, brain dead” after the weeks and weeks of work. But sometimes I get a good stab at writing done, a bit of art or some sewing done for an event or just general repair work. By keeping this time separate, I feel able to face the next week of busy-busy and feel a little more sane – barely mind you, but still slightly more sane than before.
Friday evenings are also mine – either sat down doing useful (read necessary but boring) things or indulging in a little bit of art. I spent an entire evening on my latest deviantART submission and felt rather proud of my accomplishment at the end of that evening. Didn’t get to bed until very late, but oh well.
I think I’m learning to listen when I get an idea – be it jotting stuff down in a notebook (not whole sections of text but a version of writer’s thumb nailing) or keeping notes in my phone when on the go or using my 750words challenge to get a head start. Gradually pulling ideas together I’m beginning to see stories floating amongst the soup of words and I’m beginning to see areas I can work on, things I want to try. I’m not a fan of writing torture scenes, but writing some of the darker aspects of my ideas has been surprisingly refreshing. Definitely helping to flesh out other characters as well as coming to grips with how I want to proceed with my Larp character.
Maybe one day, when I’m able to spend all day every day doing the things I love, I might be able to have time to do everything I want to do. But until then I’ll just pick and choose as the mood takes me. And work on my writing.
But for now, I want to just give a quiet thank you to the people who help me keep writing – the people who stay awake until crazy times of night just to talk about ideas or to keep me company; the people who eagerly offer to read stuff once it gets to a reasonable point; the people who comment and read this website and like the links I place elsewhere; the people who “demand” more larp posts, more writing, more fluff; the people who just spark ideas for me; my friends. You guys are amazing.