Sunday, 24 June 2018

Not enough hours - Jo Carroll

Is everyone else super-person?

I can only speak for myself, but I’m struggling to fit everything in. There’s stuff I have to do, like basic cooking and eating and cleaning and having a shower. I know it’s tedious but it’s necessary and takes, let’s say, an hour and a half each day. And sometimes I have to go to the market for fruit and vegetables, or nip round the corner to the supermarket for milk and bread and coffee - another half an hour.

If I’m to stay healthy, I need regular exercise - my exercise of choice is walking in the open air. If the weather is kind I can stride beside the canal, breath sweet air and hear the birds sing. That’s another hour. (If the weather is rubbish, I go for a swim - by the time I’ve gone to the pool, changed, swum, showered, changed again, and walked home, there’s not much change out of an hour and a half). 

Then, I’m told I need to practise mindfulness - given the sensory soup of walking, and then the bombardment of useful and useless information that greets me online, I can see the value of spending even just fifteen minutes trying to silence the brain-chaos. (I am crap at it, but am assured that if I can find time to practise, then it will get easier).

I have friends and family. I refuse to limit the time I spend with them.

I have books to sell ... marketing (which means time on social media, joining in the general trivia, keeping up some sort of profile) is essential. I’ve seen writers recommend two hours a day. Two hours on social media and can’t function without wine.

And I have books to read - books I want to read, books I ought to read, books that will inform and inspire and sometimes overawe me. As writers, we are told that we should read everything - how else will we learn? I can add that I need to read like I need to breathe. And apparently I need to watch TV and films, to learn about narrative structures, and to get ideas from documentaries. 

It is also essential, we are told, that as writers we need to get out and about, spend time in social spaces, in order to find inspiration to feed the hours we spend alone with our writing.


But how am I meant to fit in those hours of writing, and get the rest of it done?

You can find links to boooks I have managed to write at jocarroll.co.uk 

4 comments:

Susan Price said...

Jo, I am with you with every word.

Cecilia Peartree said...

Yes, this definitely strikes a chord. I sometimes find the 'stuff to do' takes even longer than it should. I spent about half of this past Friday trying to contact Virgin Media and the other half waiting for my son's cats to come in so that I could lock up their house for the night. I think it's a miracle anyone ever gets anything useful (which of course includes writing) done at all.

Umberto Tosi said...

I'm exhausted. I need to lie down now. :D

Andrew Crofts said...

But how much worse it would be to have too much time and not enough interesting things to fill it.