Good morning…2AM, dark-of-the-night morning. Hey, if I can’t sleep, I might as well write. And I do owe you all a blog post. This one has been formulating in my mind for the last few days as I went from one chore to another – laundry, barn, grocery store, vet’s office, making appointments, etc. The other thing that I’ve been mentally carting around town with me is my current WIP.
When the heck am I going to get some writing done? And how the heck do other writers do it?
I can imagine that most of you are nodding your heads and saying “I hear ya’.” It’s no secret that very few writers live in a solitary vacuum, able to devote uniterrupted hours of time to their craft. Yet, there are many busy with jobs, families and community who are highly productive writers as well.
Author Sarah Sullivan, one of the faculty members at our last conference, said that while she worked as an attorney, she would write every night from 12am – 2am. Not just on an insomniac-riddled one, but every night! That’s some serious time management and dedication.
The blog Daring to Live Fully posted “57 Tips for Writers, from Writers.” In it the author spoke about John Grisham and his approach to productivity. “He goes on to say that at first you have to treat writing as a hobby; you write a page a day in your spare time. Grisham explains that he created spare time to write, although he had a full time job. He adds that he always tells young aspiring writers that if they’re not writing a page a day, then nothing is going to happen. But if they make sure to write a page a day it becomes a habit, and before long they have a lot of pages piled up.”
A page a day. I can do that.
I poked around the internet futher and came across some more pearls of writing wisdom:
“A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper.” -E.B. White
Ouch. I think he’s speaking to me. Who am I to ignore the advice of the man who wrote the book that lives with me to this day from my childhood?
“Write first and always. Painting, music, friends, cinema, all these come afterwards.” – Henry Miller
Oh, Henry…you plagued me in school, but there is no denying the soundness of your advice!
“For me, writing time has always been precious, something I wait for and am eager for and make the best use of.” – Barbara Kingsolver (prolific author and mother)
Each of them and others I didn’t quote had specific times that they wrote, but that wasn’t what stood out. We all have different schedules and responsibilities, so trying to match someone else’s is unrealistic. What inspired me was their determination and drive. Their willingness to make time, no matter how many people and things pulled on them. That’s what makes a productive writer and often a published one.
So, now it’s your turn. How do you do it? What’s your routine that buoys your determination and what is your best time of day to write? Share your secrets in the comments below.
I really could use your advice.