The act of balancing one’s work writing with one’s personal writing is insanely tough, because the former has to naturally come first, since people are paying you for it. And then when it’s time to come home and do the writing one has to do, just to get it out there, it’s so tough. There are a million things competing for your attention, even when you’re in your 20s and can get away with sleeping only three or four hours per night, and spending time with loved ones or taking a nap or just going out to a restaurant for dinner will whittle that time away until it’s time to go to bed.

(The most practical advice I’ve heard on this for the rest of us came from screenwriter Tony Gilroy, who recommended taking the most mind-numbing job you could find, the better to make getting home and writing seem almost like a reward, though that doesn’t counter the exhaustion problem. But that’s neither here nor there.)

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