I spent the better part of the day today on conference calls for work with our customer in Detroit. This after working a 60 hour week. I got out of the calls already exhausted for the day. Later, I was looking at Eric James Stone's blog. On the blog, he has a video of an interview he gave for iSCIFI TV. While in and of itself an interesting discussion with Eric, (who I know from Codex and met at the 2006 Nebula awards), an off the cuff comment from the interviewer caught my attention.
The interviewer commented that writing takes a lot of time. That got me thinking. When I'm rolling, I can pump out 1000 words an hour or better. David Gerrold told me that he occasionally hits that pace and called it exhausting. For me, I have to be totally focused on the story and be distraction-free. But that's digressing. The topic here was on writing time.
Now, those of you who know me also know that between work, the kids, and my wife's mother, I have a hectic life. Some of my fellow writers are amazed that I can write at all. Truth is, sometimes I can't. When I'm working long hours, it's very difficult for me to get started. Once I get started I can get into it, but often I just start getting heavy eyelids. I pretty much always write with a tired mind and a tired body. I'm surprised I've managed to achieve any kind of success at all with the baggage I have to carry. I makes me wonder what I could produce if I could regularly write while fresh and rested, with significant time to read for pleasure and research.
Of course, excuses don't matter. The readers don't care, nor do editors. I'm still in competition with every other writer submitting to the same markets. The work has to stand on its own, and that's why I'm surprised I've sold as many stories as I have. They are written under less than ideal conditions.
But then, everyone has the proverbial cross to bear. I don't know how my situation compares with other writers. Surely there must be others writing in sub-prime conditions. Speaking of, I should get to that novel in progress.