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This Writing Life: Adaptation

5 November, 2012

Life is all about adaptation. At its simplest (or most complex, depending how you look at it), life itself and each species adapts to the environment in which it finds itself, through evolution. Without wanting to draw too many parallels, all of us have to adapt and evolve as our lives change, from the tiniest of adjustments to the biggest, sometimes life-altering switches.

Of course, change can be both good and bad. For the purposes of this blog, though, I wanted to talk about recent adaptations that I’ve made, to keep writing through thick and thin.

  •  The new job. Let’s start with the big one. I recently changed my shifts at work, drastically altering which days and how many hours I work (same number of days, but considerably more hours). Whilst this keeps my bank account happy, it’s been a bit of a blow to the fairly rigid writing schedule I’d built up over the last two years, which had encompassed writing every morning and early afternoon, taking late afternoon off and going to the ‘day-job’ in the evening. It worked well, and I got a lot done. Now though, I have to contend with writing time that’s both reduced and more fragmented. I am still working, which is the important thing, but it’s early days and the adjustments really aren’t finished yet – this blog has definitely suffered, and I’m not yet happy with how many words I’m producing each week.
  • Shifting priorities. For years, my writing projects have been quite rigid: write novel, edit novel, start querying agents. The publishing landscape is changing, though, and my writing priorities have changed with it. Now, alongside pursuing a traditional publishing deal, I’ve been looking at e-publishing novellas through small presses, and at selling more short stories. This is an upheaval which has meant something of a gap in which I’ve got no new novel to query, but in the long-run I hope it’ll launch me into the publishing world from several angles at once (well, I can dream!).
  • New technology. With my reduced writing time, I decided I needed a way to keep myself away from the internet (particularly from online games) and more focused on work. As a result, I plumped for a new laptop, something I’ve been hankering after for some time, which is exclusively for writing and has nothing installed but the bare essentials: Scrivener, OpenOffice, Firefox (to blog) and Spotify (I like a bit of music whilst I work). This is decidedly the most minor adjustment in my life, but getting used to a new operating system (Windows 8), new hardware and particularly a new keyboard is just one more set of changes to add to my list.

So, life keeps on and I keep writing, no matter how things change around me. Long may that continue, though I’m sure the future will have plenty more to throw at me to keep me adapting for years to come!


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