When do I write? When I’m not reading.
February 23, 2009
Many people ask how I find the time to write several posts a week, let alone the two novels, given I am Chief Creative Officer of a sizable advertising agency. For the record, I am also the father of three little girls, which has its demands! Adding to my time crunch is the fact that Gods of Advertising is almost 100% original content; in other words, I have to come up with everything I write and then write it. Lame as some of it is, I bust my ass to get it right. Doing so takes time. This post took 3 hours, in two separate sit-downs.
Do I want a medal? No, but I could use a few more hours in the day.
Plain and simple, it takes passion. I love writing. Always have. In high school, I was feature editor for the Lane Tech Warrior. This meant I got to cover my favorite musical artists and the occasional movie. My review of Rush’s three-night stand at the Aragon (yes, I went all three nights) is a highlight of this early period. At the University of Wisconsin, I wrote for three newspapers while barely maintaining a B average, as well as learning how to drink like a pro. In addition to a music magazine, I worked for the college’s right wing paper (Badger Herald) as well as the left wing rag (Daily Cardinal). I don’t think either paper knew about my bi-writer proclivities.
My ambition to work as a copywriter at Leo Burnett was so strong I eschewed the convention of traveling to Europe as a college senior. I interviewed 2 weeks after receiving my diploma and was in a cube days later.
This is to illustrate the importance of ambition and passion in shaping a life. For better and worse, I had it in spades. The biggest reason I am able to write for this blog as well as other personal projects is because I want to. The same holds true with my considerable duties at work. I love doing it. And where there’s a will…
So… time? When do I write? Just now I am sitting in the cafe at the Women’s Athletic Club writing this while my youngest girl, Lily is taking her swimming lesson. I will then drive to a suburban stable to pick up her sister, Camille who is a riding fanatic. While Camille cleans her beloved horse (we share board), I will be writing. You get the drift. Should I be watching my children as they pursue their own passions in the pool and ring? Maybe, but I don’t.
The generic answer I always give to the time question is ‘after the kids go to bed and on planes.’ Between 9PM and question mark is quiet time at the Postaer home. Should I be watching “20/20” with my beloved wife? Maybe, but I don’t. I’m pretty sure this mortgage on my marriage has consequences but so does not writing.
Airplanes continue to be the best all-around writing place. Not only is it typically quiet, there is absolutely, positively nothing better to do than read or write. I do both, guilt free. No wonder I like business travel more than most.
I tossed in the word “read” because one cannot be a writer without being a reader. I manage about 4 books a month, alternating between fiction and true stories. February consisted of Guns ‘n Roses over-the-top saga, “Watch You Bleed,” Carrie Fisher’s sardonic memoir, “Wishful Drinking,” the creepy true-crime tale, “The Monster of Florence” and currently, George Parker’s bombastic and wonderful, “The Ubiquitous Persuaders.”
In the end a writer writes. Prior to the blog it was novels and short stories. Before that journalism. And through it all, of course, I wrote copy. Never, then, has the following statement been more relevant: Thank you for your readership!