I subscribe to several email blasts from writers, agents and publishers. I also belong to Romance Writers of America and the local Detroit chapter of RWA. I receive upwards of 100 different emails about writing each day.
What can I say? I need constant information.
What really bowls me over about the writers is that they can pump out pages and pages each and every day. Chapters and chapters every week!
Not using this as an excuse, but I have a challenging day job. If I get an hour to myself, it’s a rare thing. There are so many things I want to do in addition to the many things I have to do that I have to priortize.
For example, manicures are low, low, low on the list. My nails haven’t seen polish in over a year.
Shopping is low on the list, especially the kind of shopping that involves walking into a brick and mortar building. I’d shop for groceries online, but we don’t have that here.
TV is also low. My husband likes to have it on, mostly for background noise. He also loves golf and fancies himself a newshound, so the TV is on the Golf Channel or a news channel. I need one thing from the TV: I want to know if it’s going to snow (rain), how much and for how long.
On the other hand, food is a high priority. I’m a food snob. My one pleasure is a good meal accompanied by a nice wine. Mix in a few friends and you have a perfect setting. Since food preparation is a labor of love, it tends to take some time.
Laundry and housecleaning are necessities, not priorities. They fall mid-way on the scale.
I am trying to make writing more of a priority and less a diversionary game.
For those who don’t know me well, I’m a lazy person. Yes, and I used to be a world-class procrastinator too, until I rediscovered writing. I’m not young. That’s why my motto is “I’m writing as fast as I can!”
A person cannot write without time.
You need time to get into the mood, to get into the zone. Sometimes if I know I have a couple hours of free time, I’ll begin getting into the zone a half hour or so before. I slip into the character and begin to see the world through her eyes. It helps for when I’m confronted with the blank screen on my laptop.
I’m the type who needs quiet. If the dog wants to sleep on my feet, that’s okay, but other than that, I don’t want people around. It’s hardest to write on airplanes, easier in airports, and painless once you get away from home. I make the most progress in hotel rooms. I recently spent four days in California getting my daughter back into college. Even though I had a commute from LA to San Diego County each day, I managed to pump out ten pages. Ten whole pages!
That’s a lot for me.
I thought I had become proficient in time management, but when I read about these work-aholic, prolific writers on fire (many of whom have small children), I feel inadequate.
Perhaps I shouldn’t measure myself against them.
Or maybe I should use them as a tool to get motivated.