Your Biggest Challenge as a Writer -and What To Do About It - Part 12

Today, something different - a guest post from our beloved Gary Bonn:

I’m writing this in response to Grant’s superb series Your Biggest Challenge as a Writer – and What To Do About It. For this series of essays Grant has drawn on research and found time to be a huge problem for people – but not the only one.

Life as a writer has its own problems some of which it shares with other professions. It’s worth knowing what you are headed into. Writing costs and it’s an emotional cost in the end no matter how you get there.

Notes: For the purposes of this the label Artist includes all creators of art – including writers. I am going to mention extreme outcomes but you should understand they are exceptional.

Time can be forced upon people by their environment. The best-selling writer Stephen Godden (also known as T. F. Grant) lived in such a remote place, trapped financially and unable to find work, and was unable to do anything but write. That he achieved best-selling success and died more or less as the news broke was part of a miserable hand fate had been dealing him for a long time.

For others time becomes available when leaving college/university, retirement or the youngest child attends school. The latter is a hard choice in because it means you’re still having to work, clean, cook, when the children return home rather than having more time for them.

Health can force time on us too. Whilst instructing a group of teenagers how to play a totally safe game, popular among hunter-gatherer nomadic bands in west Africa, I suffered a spinal injury. This meant I couldn’t move for weeks. Instead I created a world in my head and worked there instead. I know that dreadful place as well as I know my favourite mountains. I met the people, befriended them, helped gather the materials they collected for money, tended their wounds and planned safety