Time management

There really are only 24 hours in a day.  And on a night like this, where I’m just getting home at 8:30 in the evening, the last thing that I want to do after dealing with words and sound bites all day is stare some more at my computer and deal with words and dialogue.  If I were a better person, I’d go to bed earlier and get up at the crack of dawn and write.  But I’m not that better person.

I’m giving myself a pass this week.  I knew it would be a stressful week at work, what with threats of a government shutdown.  Plus, my Skype partner had another commitment and couldn’t make our once a week playwriting lab.   So no new pages for me. 

But just giving myself a week off gave me the space to actually send out some query letters and submit a couple of plays here and there.  And my brain has been working on rewriting the LA Riots play.  So I haven’t completely given up my identity as playwright. 

I’ve had a hard time finding a regular schedule for my writing – partly because of the unpredicability of the day job, partly because both my husband and I work out of an 800 square foot coop.  And he’s a writer, too.  There’s something about that other person sucking all the creative energy out of a place. 

When I was working on the many, many rewrites of “Gogol Project,” I found that if I could set aside 90 minutes a day, I could write a play.  That resolution has fallen away. I did manage to finish the first draft of a new play in spits and spots.  But after more than two decades of writing plays, I wish I knew a more efficient way to do it.

I’m curious about your writing habits.  Do you have a sacred place and time?  How long do you typically sit down to write at a time?  Is caffeine a requirement?

2 Comments

  • By Nancy Beverly, April 11, 2011 @ 4:11 pm

    Love the blog about your Patch of Dirt productions, too. Just wanted to respond to your question about writing habits — I FINALLY found the perfect day job — at UCLA (after 25 years in show biz and working 11 hour days in TV production — selling a script now and then but not enough to give up the day jobs). I do office managing stuff at UCLA — working 7:45 to 4:45, with a full hour for lunch & full benefits. I’m home by 5:45, done w/ dinner an hour later and writing 3 or 4 evenings a week by 7. I also grab an afternoon on a weekend as well. I wanted so badly to be a full-time TV writer for so many years that I didn’t want to give up being in production because you make so many connections there… but the WGA strike landed me here and it’s worked out well. I’ve stopped writing TV scripts and have gone back to plays, happily so. Good luck!

  • By Jen Huszcza, April 13, 2011 @ 1:35 pm

    No coffee.

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