Monday, November 24, 2008

Ready, Set . . . Write!

After some emails I received off the blog, I decided to make Mondays the official days to write about writing. So all you writers, mark your calendars.

Writers write, right? For most of us, the answer is yes. But for some of us, the answer is sometimes. For others, it's not so much.

Most writers want to write. But a few are in love with the idea of being a writer more than the actual glue yourself to the chair, slice open a vein, and pour your soul onto the page work of writing.

Writing, like a journey, begins with but a single word.

Others have written about writing at a certain time every day, or writing whatever comes to you until you're back into your story, or doing a writing exercise to get your juices flowing. Those are all good.

But once you begin, you need to keep going. Here's my story of what worked for me:

I came to writing fiction from a job that paid me real money to write other stuff that bored me to tears. Over the years I wrote proposals, created marketing material, wrote ads, and more of the like. But in these jobs, I left home and went out to work every day. When I was home, I did home stuff. And there's always plenty of it - dishes, laundry, cleaning, etc. All that plus sitting on the patio doing whatever or reading or any other leisure activity.

So when was I supposed to write?

I started by making myself sit at the keyboard for five minutes and write for those entire five minutes. Not long, but at the beginning it seemed an eternity. Then I allowed myself ten minutes to do home stuff. Rinse and repeat, all day long. When the five minutes passed before I realized it, I changed it to 15 minutes, with still the same ten minute break. Your kitchen timer works great for this.

A couple of weeks later, I no longer needed the timer. After a while, I noticed dust had collected everywhere, things that should shine were dull, and the kitchen floor had sticky spots. Oops! Time to build in a little home stuff time. This time I used the timer to make myself leave the computer so the health department wouldn't pay a visit.

Eventually, I evolved into a rhythm that worked. Sometimes life intervenes, and I need to make adjustments. But I did it once, so I know I can always do it again.

So find your rhythm. Use the timer if you need to. If you need to write, you'll find a way.

2 comments:

Mark said...

Sure a certain level of cleanliness is important, but none of your readers will ever know if your house is clean or the grass cut.

Carol Kilgore said...

So true, and something I always try to remember.