Writers making time to write for themselves.
Writing for me in Iran
While I've been 'on' beBee for a while, thanks to the prompting of Jim Murray, I haven't had the time to write. As it turns out I'm on holiday in Iran for three weeks all the way from Australia and I'm currently sitting in a beautiful garden at dusk with time on my hands. I'm also in a special place called Shiraz (alas Iran is a dry country so none of the actual wine to drink), the home of poetry and Iran's most revered poets Sa' adi and Hafez. Apart from visiting some beautiful mosques and historic sites I've actually had time to write for me.
As a corporate storyteller I research and write all the time and I love it. I am passionate about business and history and enjoy nothing more than writing them. That said, over the past three years I've been so busy writing for others that I haven't made time for my own writing. It reminds me of the saying that the painter never paints his/her own house.
And, now I've got some space and time I've realised that I have missed writing for me, on my own projects and there's plenty of them, the story of my grandfather for starters.
Balancing paying work and personal writing
I've been so busy and preoccupied about earning a living from business writing that I've become appallingly bad at saying 'no' to new projects and creating some space for me to write, or not. I've thought about why this is and I think it's the typical writer's fear of not knowing when or where your next commission is going to come from, so you take more on, just in case you don't get another project/job in the timeframe you want. The end result, for me anyway, has been taking on too much at once and then having to work pretty much 7 days a week for a couple of years to get through it all.
I've been saying to my husband and friends that I love what I do and enjoy the work. The truth be told while I do love what I do I've had no balance in my life and that's not sustainable or a good idea if I want to continue to write with a freshness, energy and, quite frankly, well. I've known that but haven't wanted to admit it to myself.
When I planned my holiday to Iran I thought 'great, I won't touch my computer or 'work' while I am away, I really needed a break from writing . And I haven't worked but I have found time to start writing a couple of my own projects and I'm loving it. You see, I love the act of writing (typing now) and there's so much I want to write about outside my business contracts, and I've got time on this holiday to do it.
I've finally started the story of my grandfather, something 'I've been meaning to do' for four years now, and that's been sitting in my head all that time.
Writers writing for themselves
I'm presuming that other commercial/business writers might have the same challenge, when and how to find the time and creative energy to write the stories/ideas that they want to. I'm thinking that I have to apply the same discipline to 'Jaqui's writing time' as I do to my paying clients. To do this I need to value my writing space, create it and learn to say no to some of the projects that come my way.
I am constantly tell my clients on The Book Adviser program to do this and I've realised at the start of my holiday, sitting in a garden in Shiraz, that I need to take my own advice otherwise my grandfather's story will never be written, the second book on walks around central Paris won't happen and nor will the other book ideas I have.
If you write for a living how do you create time and find the creative energy for your own projects? I'd be keen to know and I am sure other writers would too.