10 February 2014
Time Flies When You're Having Fun
by Jan Grape
The twenty-eighth of this month, February, I'll have a major birthday. I'll be celebrating my diamond jubilee as the royals say. Three-quarters of a century someone told me. I didn't need to hear that. Made me feel even older. I prefer to say I'm 60-fifteen. Where did time go? Seems like only a short time ago that I was a young mother and now I'm the mother of some fifty-years old adults. I just want to tell time to slow down, I have many more stories and books to write. Okay, I've just got to suck it up and get busy.
In regard to my title, time flies when you're having fun (and I must add) and even when you're not. I mean when you're writing something that you really enjoy and it's going well, then wham. You suddenly realize a scene isn't working and some weird character is trying to take over. Guess what? You stop, but time doesn't stop. Your deadline is still rushing ahead and you have no idea where to go or what to do. So dang it all, this is not fun, but time hasn't stopped flying by. What do you do?
Everyone who writes has their own method to get through those times. Take a walk, do some mundane chore, like laundry or mopping the kitchen floor, take a nap, meditate. I have no definite answer. I've done all those things and then some. Once in a while, print up what you've written and read and edit that. Actually, that usually works best for me. I'm old school and always can see things better if I have a hard copy in front of me.
If I'm not working on a deadline, then I usually close the computer for the day and start fresh the next day. If I'm on deadline then it depends on what time of day it is. I don't usually work until afternoon because I'm not a morning person. If it's late in the day, I still may close up for the day, but often can and will work at night. I'll admit that sometimes sleep helps by letting your sub-conscious work out your problem.
One thing I've noticed through the years is I really enjoy writing. I love it when a scene works out or a chapter finishes up with a nice cliff-hanger or at least a great place to end. I can get a high that nothing else matches. Well, that I know. I've never tried drugs but when you're talking about good things happening to you, writing can be fantastic. But what is the weird thing about sitting down to write? I have put off writing for absolutely no reason. It's like I hate to start. I can find many, many reasons to not sit down and start writing. All perfectly good reasons but none of them worth a darn.
The best writers I know all say about the same thing. Read what you wrote the day before or wherever you stopped and make some edits if necessary. Somehow that gets your muse to wake up and you're ready to start your writing day. If you're on a deadline, it's easier. Because time does manage to fly when you're having fun and even when you're not.
A good friend several years ago used to tell people she was eighty-four. At the time she was barely forty. She said her reasoning was that people would think she looked fantastic for eighty-four and when she got to that age, people wouldn't believe her and think she looked awesome.
Do all you can to keep those birthdays coming because the alternative is pushing up daises. And never worry about time getting away from you, because you can't stop it. You might as well keep writing and having fun. That's my goal even at my age.