Friday, February 8, 2013

Time to Write!

Everyone does their writing 'schedule' a different way. Some people do a certain number of words per day, or a certain amount of time. Some people write multiple times a day, some write less often.

I don't think there's a write or wrong way to do your writing time, with one exception. If being a writer is something that's really important to you, I DO think you need to do it. 

It could be coincidence, I'm not sure, but it was only when I finally made myself put some discipline into my writing life that I got that long-awaited first contract. I have little kids--one is 2 1/2, one is 3 months old. Last summer when I decided I needed to write every day, I only had the 2 year old (haha, obviously) and initially I wasn't sure if I could write consistently with a toddler boy to care for and chance around. But you know what? We make time for things we believe are important. And I eventually decided my writing was important enough to make time for. Sometimes I wrote during nap time. Sometimes my mom came over and babysat while I took myself to Barnes and Noble and wrote there. Sometimes I hauled the computer into my toddler's room and wrote while he played on the floor. I didn't stick to my schedule perfectly (does anyone stick to a schedule perfectly every day???), but it worked much better than just saying to myself "I'll write...sometime..." 

I really appreciate what William Faulkner once said "I only write when I am inspired. Fortunately I am inspired at 9 o'clock every morning."

Maybe 9 o'clock isn't a good time for you. If other life activities make this time not work, choose another. If the idea of being creative and producing something half-decent at an hour when coffee has not yet fully flooded your system and your brain is barely working, choose another for sure.

But, I would say you should choose a time that works for you, a certain amount of days that work for you, and try to put yourself on a schedule for at least a week or two, just to give it a try. Maybe commit to writing at least 5 minutes every day. Or say you're going to work on your story every Monday for an hour. Just something. If you love it--great! If you don't love it because right now you have other things you have to do that make it impossible--that's fine too, you can always try again later. 

Now, if you'll excuse me, both boys are napping, so I better go practice what I preached here and get some words in... ;) 


  1. I REALLY need to take your advice. Lol. Great post. My famous words (well, among my friends and family) are "Eh... I'll work on that later." When "later" gets here, whatever idea I had has usually lost its sparkle. I'm beginning to think I have a phobia of writing. The act, not the art. I mean, I'll have an idea and it will be a good one, but when I sit down at the computer it's like my creativity just dissolves and my writing goes flat. Even if I had it all "written" out in my head... I think that's why I procrastinate so much. I know what's going to happen when the time comes for me to sit down and actually transcribe. Lol.

  2. I totally understand, Ashley! But you're in college right now too, right? I majored in English and there were some semesters in college I wrote way , way less than others because it's hard to draw enough words from your brain sometimes to write papers and fun stuff. Been there. You're right to put the papers first, I think. =)

    As for the idea thing, I've been there too! I actually feel like some of what I wrote today is kinda 'blah.' BUT I wanted to get some words in and I did that. I think I'll probably keep most of what I did today but I know some of it will get edited out eventually because some of it just wouldn't come out right. But that's okay. I think sometimes we have to give ourselves permission just to get something written, whether we think it's good or not.

  3. Lol. Yeah. I'm an English Ed. major, so there are definitely papers to be written... I definitely get a little burnt out, sometimes.
    I have a really hard time being satisfied with "blah" writing even if I know that it won't be that way forever. I'm kind of a perfectionist when it comes to my writing -which is okay until you don't get much done for fear of messing up. You aren't really a "writer" if you don't "write." :/
    It's such a relief to ear that real writers share the same struggles as rookies like me. Makes things not seem quite a hopeless. Lol.

  4. Definitely not hopeless Ashley. :)
    Great post Sarah!