Writing and the Nine-to-Five

Writing and the Nine-to-Five
Image: Indiana University

I had intended on going in early to work yesterday but in the end I never made it. One thing led to another and before I knew it I was rushing in to the office in a cab. Not good for the wallet but my reason more than made up for any guilt: I’d been writing.

Writing While Working
The workshop I’m doing is promoting a lot of personal analysis, as you might be able to tell if you’ve been reading my blog lately, but one other thing it’s forced me to do is to get back in the physical routine of writing. I’d actually fallen out of the habit somewhat, though I’ve still been managing to turn stories around and work on manuscripts. A lot of my GDRs this year have been about completing projects already started, so I can’t be too heavy on myself here, but I’d forgotten about the pleasure and increased output I can attain when I get up really early and write before the day job.

This all started during NaNoWriMo in 2006 when I discovered that 5am starts with a goal of 4 pages (around 2000 words) is beneficial to me on so many levels: I’m a morning person, I’m creatively fresh early doors, and I like the quiet of dawn.

The One Story, Many Voices workshop has forced me back into this. I’ve not quite been doing the 5am thing yet – 6am is still quite early – but that’s because I’ve been balancing my writing with my reading list as well as the website work I’ve been involved in during the evenings. That said, I think the 5am starts are back on the cards, because apart from anything else, I’m so busy in work these days and supporting Gail’s business endeavours, that working before dawn and in the evenings are the only real quality time slots I get. But they should be enough when rolled up with weekends and holidays.

Savvy Workshop
One of the good things about being a writer that seems to have been lacking of late, is the cathartic effect it can have following the stress and frustrations of the day job. I tend to get very caught up in what I’m doing, pressure myself over time to meet deadlines on a multitude of things, and, as mentioned yesterday, focus heavily on the immediate results as opposed to the long term benefits and original inspirations. I’m talking about my writing as well as the day job when I say that, by the way. This has been another good thing of the workshop – it’s made me remember why I started writing in the first place.

Assignment 5 of the workshop – humour – was completed and submitted on time. In the end it was less subtle than I intended with the humour coming through the interaction between the young lad, Alan and his older boss, Lou. I threw in a bit of slapstick at the end to round it off, but whether anyone else finds it funny is up to the Gods.

Assignment 6 – romance – is already written in my head.

This Is Central Station
I discovered the website where a project I contributed to has published the collected outcome. This Is Central Station asked creative types to send in a photo with the title: “I Became… Because….” with which we then had to fill in the blanks. Some of the contributions are excellent, particularly from some of the bona fide photographers that got involved, and others are just very provocative. You can view them all, including mine, here: This Is Central Station.


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About Colin Galbraith

Thriller author, music fan, St Mirren fan, fluff chucker, rabbit tamer, outstanding fake faller. Loves cannoli.
This entry was posted in Day Job, Editorial Comment, Fiction, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Writing and the Nine-to-Five

  1. Another benefit I’ve discovered from writing early in the morning is that, even when the rest of the day goes to hell without even the handbasket, you still have that morning’s work done, so the day isn’t a total loss. It takes pressure off and gives huge motivation.

    The more regularly you exercise your writing muscles as a daily practice — just like training for a marathon — the easier it is to slip back into your created worlds every day. The more gaps you have, the longer it takes to get back to it, and, finally, you don’t.

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