One of the my favourite album titles is The Persistence of Time. Couldn’t tell you why exactly, but it always reminds me of those points in life when you can feel time passing as an inexorable flow.
Of course writing is a process of time. We write and think and draft and re-draft things sometimes over spans of years, so we know how much it matters to have the time to write. The hard thing, always, is finding ways to protect writing time from all the other time-greedy pressures.
Even those who are free of family commitments and don’t work 60 hour weeks, have the time-stealers of writing things not fiction (blogs, emails, tweets, status updates etc) plus all those things that took up a writer’s time before the invention of the internet.
If you often find yourself justifying why you don’t spend more time online to people who are fully connected in this greatly connected world, then I share your pain. Not that it’s hard to see their point. If you aren’t connected a) how does anyone know who you are and b) how do you know what’s going on.
My own approach is to remind myself just how well writers (and people in general) got on before the coming of mobile phones and the internet. Particularly when I start to feel like I’m the only person in the universe who’s not heard about the latest it-topic doing the interwebs!
Other than that, I try and keep a two-to-one ratio of writing to online activity. That way if I spend a whole night online, pretty much all I get to do for the rest of the week is check emails. Harsh, but effective.
And occasionally responsible for breaks in blog-transmission…