So Many Things To Do, So Little Time (For Writing)

The hardest part about being an author — other than the inspiration, the cost, the editing, the publishing, and the marketing — is finding the time to write. Unless you are able to make a living at it (oh you lucky 1%-ers), chances are you are busy working a full-time job/jobs, dealing with family, friends, and other sorts of no-writing activities. With today’s technology and mountain of distractions, being able to find a quiet moment to sit and compose a few simple sentences is nearly impossible.

(Heck, I just spent the past 30 seconds composing this paragraph while also wondering about the latest releases on Netflix)

The fact of the matter is that for anyone who wants to be serious about any activity — be it sports, cooking, art, etc. — one must find dedicated time to practice it. And in the case of writing, should preferably be done in an area that is distraction-free. Unfortunately, even if one can find this Shangri-La, there will invariably be other things that compete for your attention.

I know some people who therefore only write late at night or early in the morning when the family is asleep or otherwise distracted, but I personally love my beauty rest and can’t see myself getting up that earlier or going to bed that late when I need to be at work at the butt-crack of dawn. So instead I try to use my lunch hour to sneak in a few quick words or ideas. It’s not ideal, but it is a way to continually exercise my creativity with the hopes that once I do find that large block of free time, I will be able to take full advantage of it.

This will do for now. And with that, I’m off to bed.

The Nonsensical Fantasy Writer: A Precursor to Success

If there is one thing that defines all fantasy writers is the fact that sooner or later you will come up with a nonsensical word. Be it a person, place, or a thing, you will create a word that does not exist in any known language. And if you’re truly gifted, you might even create an entirely new language to go along with that nonsense word.

I’m certainly no J.R.R. Tolkien, so my nonsensical words don’t encompass an entire new vocabulary, but I still have to create them. And when I say have to I mean it seems to be the expectation of all fantasy readers that their authors will create words that shouldn’t exist just as they are creating worlds that don’t exist.

When I started writing, that was the most difficult thing I had to tackle and often times something that stopped me mid-sentence. I felt beholden to centuries of English teachers to write using “real” words and felt skittish about venturing off that proper road. But, as they say, “some rules are made to broken.” And once I started, it became easier and easier to the point where I could create nonsensical words whenever I needed to.

Case and point:

  • Blarflaven

  • Tildletow

  • Hootenanny

Okay that last one is an actual thing (look it up).

These days, I feel a certain level of release to be able to create words that shouldn’t exist; it solidifies the point that I am creating a world, it is mine to shape and define, and I shouldn’t have to be beholden to anyone’s logic.

That being said, one still has to ground the nonsensical in the logical. That is also one of the disadvantages of writing fiction and fantasy in particular: the world may be imagined but it still must abide by certain laws or guidelines, otherwise readers will have a hard time accepting it.

So feel free to be as nonsensical or fantastical as you wish, but keep it sensible.