Thursday, May 7, 2009

Why I Love Writing - Part III

Today was the day from hell as far as writing goes. Had an argument with my spouse this morning, which left me walking the dog after making my own breakfast. Then, as I was getting into planning the day’s work and pulling myself into that creative space, two friends unexpectedly showed up at my door to play tennis. I say unexpectedly because I had forgotten we had scheduled today for a tennis day and social lunch. My bad. The short story is, my work plans were blown to bits, which brings me to today’s topic of why I love writing – freedom to work at my own pace.

There are two great aspects to this freedom I speak of. The first is to schedule my own time based on motivation and time available. After twenty years of working in a office and doing the daily grind in order to meet project deadlines, I love being able to say “I don’t have time for work today” or “I’ll push that off until tomorrow because I’m simply not in the mood.” I work for myself, so if I want to take a day or even a week off there is nobody to flog me but myself. That said, I can honestly say that I now work harder than I ever have in my life. I’ve migrated into a funny situation where the work drives me rather than the other way around. Still, when things come up, I can push the work aside and deal with life.

The second aspect of freedom I’d like to mention is the freedom of location. With my writing, I’m not bound to an office. I can work anywhere I can plug in my laptop, and I can market my books anywhere I can gain access to the internet. That is a tremendous freedom. I love to travel, and I spend four to six months of the year trekking the world. I’ve just returned from a five month trip through Southeast Asia, where I worked nearly every day. Although I’m not nearly as productive when I’m on the road, I do have a daily routine where I writer at least two hours each day.

Working for myself allows me the freedom to work as I choose, and also deal with all the other wonderful things in life as they come up.


Karen Walker said...

Hi Alan,
Sorry about your spousal argument. Hope all is well by now. Yes, interruptions are challenging. Today my phone didn't stop ringing. although I have to admit I wasn't much in the mood to write anyway since I didn't get much sleep last night.
How lucky you are to travel so much to such wonderful places. I'm off to Ireland and Scotland and can't wait. It's only for two weeks, but should be quite special.


Jina Bacarr said...

I live near the beach and often myself headed in that direction when I'm mulling over a plot or characters. There's something about watching the ocean and its never-ending flow that gets me back on track.

I love having that freedom...

Hope all is well tonight with you and your spouse.


Anonymous said...

I too cherish the freedom of writing from home as an occupation.

Alexis Grant said...

Freedom of location is, in my opinion, one of the best perks writing has to offer. But this flexible schedule? It's hard for me! Hard to prioritize writing over all my other daily responsibilities. Guess it just takes some getting used to... And some time-management practice.

Elle Parker said...

Freedom is a glorious thing and I envy you the ability to write full time.

I do, however, have the next best thing. I own my own business, and while I have to BE here doing the daily grind, I am able to take time in my workday to deal with some of the more basic tasks of promo and research. At least this way when I'm at home, I can make the most of writing time.

Elle Parker