Posted by: steveonfilm | March 8, 2009

Sometimes Being a Grown Up Isn’t Any Fun

I’ve written several times about the “advantages” an amateur writer has over a professional one. And by the term professional, I mean anyone who uses writing as their sole career choice. Meaning, if they don’t make money from writing, they don’t make money period.

Professionals have to worry about steady work to keep a steady income. Successful writers don’t have to worry as much, but even they have to take it into consideration now and then.

Amateurs on the other hand don’t have that issue. They don’t need to think about landing the next writing gig because that’s not how they make their living. Unfortunately, the negative to that is…that’s not how they make their living. Instead, they have to split their time between writing and real life. Their 9 to 5, and outside factors, can eat up days, sometimes weeks, of time otherwise spent researching and writing.

I’m in one of those, as Gayle would say, funks. Work has been a bit busier than usual. And I’m currently attempting to sell my house. Needless to say this has all cut into time that would otherwise be spent writing.

It’s a hard act to balance because when you get into a groove you can be really productive as a writer. Sometimes I get a steady 2 hours a night 5-7 days a week. When I’m in that groove things move along real nicely. But, once I get out of that groove, like I am now, getting back into the routine is tough. For an immediate example, just look how less I’m posting to the blog.

The oddest part is how much stronger story ideas and scenes hit me when I’m not actively writing. When I’m writing I can struggle for days about how to figure out how a scene should play out, or how a story element should progress. But now, when I’m not writing on a regular basis it’s as if my brain is doing all the problem solving in the back ground, and then just dumps it all on me at unsuspecting moments. RUsh hour. The elevator. In line at Starbucks.

I’ll be standing there and the suddenly, BOOM, some scene flashes into my head. I race back to the office, or to my laptop, and jot it down real quick. Fortunately, my memory is pretty solid that once I think of something I’ll never forget it. I just need one or two sentences to remind me of it, and the rest fills itself in when I think about it.

Ultimately, what I’m getting at is that the mind of a writer never stops writing. Even when you’re away from your keyboard, PC, pen and paper, whatever, you’re still writing. Maybe not in the active sense, but you still think like a writer. You’re still a problem solver. You still look at things as a narrative. The challenge is putting all that writing you’re doing in your head back down on paper. And getting back into that groove.



  1. Steven! Get out of my funk!!! Haha.

    I often have these random work related flashes too. Like BOOM….”OMG, I gave that man Viagra instead of Xanax today!!”….something along those lines. Lol, kidding of course. Just trying to relate 🙂

    Thanks for the shout out. And we will work together to get out of this funk.

  2. Interesting post my friend. I have been experiencing the same thing, and I continually go through it for quite some time. I usually carry a small notebook so I can jot down ideas and post them into my computer later. But overall, the ideas hit me most while I’m driving, and well, my memory is less than spectacular, so I often forget them by the time I get the opportunity to write them. As well, I understand how life and a job can get in the way of writing. I often face that issue and cannot wait till the day I get a career as a writer, and my job is solely focused on writing. But that also scares me to death. Because my work interactions often drive me to write certain things…so will I run out of things to write about? Hmmm…I’d like to think not, but who knows. But for now, you’ve got a lot on your plate. Especially with the house. You should try to get in less time writing at present time, and focus more on other things. Goals like writing 8 hours this week are more attainable. Then when things slow down, ramp it back up to 12-14 or more. But the fact that it concerns you overall is a good thing. That means you are a good conscious writer. Which means overall, you are a natural writer. you were meant to grow in this industry.

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