Tuesday, July 14, 2015
Be Fearless: Maintain A Writing Schedule
My room contains a desk, couch, reference volumes, books read and to be read, and even a PC in case my laptop blows up. The sign on the door warns intruders: "Do not disturb. Novelist at work." You'd think with these lovely digs and furnishings I'd keep my schedule religiously. Maintaining my writing schedule remains a consistent challenge.
Those of you who know me would say "How can that be? You are retired." Retire doesn't mean I don't volunteer, have appointments to keep, household chores to do, the need to eat, family interactions by phone,"'skype" or in person, a garden to maintain, critique group preparations, a blog to write, do I need to go on?
What I can't figure out is how those of you who write, work a full time job, have all the stuff I do on my list and still maintain a writing schedule. Every writer who elicits advice on writing parses out the wisdom of having a writing schedule. I would like to know how they do it.
It is late Sunday afternoon and my fingers have just touch the keyboard. Monday morning's schedule tugs at me. Do I work with my husband in the garden or sit down with my novel and do the last revisions? Life, it gets in the way of my writing. Life the well which gives me my inspiration also drowns me in interruptions and distractions.
My desire to do nothing but write is overpowering. It is a drive that makes me angry when I don't have any time to hide out and write in my inner sanctum. Here lies the lesson. If you want to write you will write. Stephen King wrote in a laundry room, John Cheever in a basement near a furnace. King advises your writing space needs only one requirement, a door. He believes a door is important for uninterrupted writing.* If you need to leave the house, write at a library, coffee shop, park, you're a writer get creative.
The important step is to keep a writing schedule. Place your writing time on your planner, set the timer on your phone, or put it on the family calendar, but let your household, the world, and yourself know you are writing everyday.
*King, Stephen, On Writing.Simon&Schuster, NewYork, NY, 2000, p.155