Yesterday I posted on being Jay Lake [ jlake.com
]. In comments, the question of time and productivity came up. I'm notorious for being a fast writer, though I've been slowing down a lot, but I also put a lot of time into my writing, fast or not.
The most important thing I ever did was quit watching television. Back in 1994, I turned the set off. I haven't had a cable bill in 15 years, don't own an antenna. I do watch a couple of DVDs per month, but that's about it. Because television used to eat my life. I've never missed it, not really. Only ever caught two shows on DVD since then, Firefly
and Battlestar Galactica
, both when I was recovering from surgery last year.
If you watch television an hour a day, and don't have time to write, then turn off the tv. Almost anyone can write 500 words in an hour. That's 182,500 words a year — two short novels or a hell of a lot of short stories.
Likewise gaming. I never did play console games much, and shut off my last computer game in 2001 when my writing career started gaining traction. Haven't missed it, either.
If writing is important enough to you, you will find the time. And I would always rather be actively writing than passively consuming packaged entertainment.
How much tv do you watch a week? How many hours do you game? How many hours do you write? You know my answers.
As usual, your mileage may vary.