Forum Friday: What have you given up for writing?

Writing is a needy mistress. Whether it’s trading a favorite show to make time for reading or staying in on a Friday night to work on the next chapter, most of us have made sacrifices to placate the demands of the muse.


I myself have come to see writing as a certain balancing act, and it is one whose scales I tinker with often. I have done various self-imposed challenges—reading a short story every day for a month and reflecting on it, replacing any television with reading until XYZ book was finished, and who could forget the social-life-eradicating Nanowrimo—and each time come away from the challenge with certain gains, but not without missing something in return.

What sacrifices have you made for your writing? Which have you found to be most (and conversely, least) effective?


21 thoughts on “Forum Friday: What have you given up for writing?

  1. Great question. I’ve given up watching TV so I can have more time to write. Whereas I used to spend a great deal of the weekend hanging out and watching movies, I’ve realized that’s great time for writing. It’s been effective for the most part.

      • I’d definitely have to say it’s negotiable. I have to relax sometimes and possibly more than other writers. Television does have its uses however. Many of the shows or movies I watch on Netflix give me new ideas to write. Overall, I’d say I have a good balance of entertainment and writing.

  2. Where do I start…well most importantly a day job and steady income, food, bathing, friends, television, just life in general haha. But it’s all in the hope that it will only be temporary so maybe it’ll be worth it 🙂

    • What I find particularly challenging is that writing has a habit of blossoming into more work than the task itself. Like, there are always more dimensions I discover along the way: the need to stop and research or look something up, a change I want to make… Our friends are much less demanding, I think 😉

  3. For me, the question might be, what haven’t I given up for writing? Secure employment and a regular, decent salary spring to mind straightaway. But I’ve given up almost anything that ever stood in the way of writing, that includes TV for a few years when I couldn’t afford one, a decent meal each day for prolonged periods on occcasion. Holidays, new clothes, cinema, theatre, new music and much, much more. Where does it end?

    So the next question should be: what have I received in return for my sacrifices? The world I always dreamed of. Writing his added enormous value to my life. It has taken me to places, I would never had ventured, to meet people I’d never had met. Even if it hasn’t given me riches, and I’d never think of doing anything different if I had the same choice to make all over again.

  4. I find myself too involved in writing that I forget to live. Isolation is nice during the writing time but without some access to the world around you you’re not going to be a very informed writer. Many writers wish they didn’t have to “work” and could devote all their time to writing. But work, and living like many other’s live with responsibilities for kids, elders, work, etc. can be a catalyst for some great, informed, writing. I used to think that my depression prohibited me from being a great writer. Now I know that some of my best material comes from the unique insights I’ve gained from struggling with a mental disease.

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