Writing on a schedule — or not

What is your favorite time to write?

It seems that question comes up on every interview with an author, new or established.

Some writers are very organized, and set aside a specific time every day.  I am sorry to admit I am not one of them.

Other wait until inspiration strikes. I’m not one of them either.

I do try to write every day, even if it isn’t on my current book.  There is a lot of behind-the-scenes writing I am trying to conquer: query letters, synopses, etc. There is correspondence, and two weekly blogs. (My other blog is http://sandybruney.blogspot.com)  I try to stick to writing topics on this one, but the other is more relaxed, just chatting about my life, the non-writing one that is.

I also have this German hausfrau heritage that doesn’t let me sit down with a clear conscience until the dishes are done, the beds made, and all the little chores finished. So I may not sit down to write until after lunch.

I realize I have it easy. I don’t have a day job or children who live at home.  I don’t have to find my writing time squeezed in after dinner when the kids are in bed, or rise at 5 a.m. to snatch a few precious hours before going to work.

As for waiting for inspiration, I realized long ago that it might be a long wait. One thing I do know, is once you reach that golden hour, whenever it is, you have to sit down and start typing. Or writing, if you prefer pen and legal pad.  Once you do, your muse may arrive, dragging its heels and whining, or it may not come at all. You may write for several hours only to delete everything in the cold light of morning.

Or you might have to dig down deep inside yourself and pull out the truths you have been hiding. It can be painful. It can be cathartic.

And it may be the best writing you’ve ever done.

A schedule is necessary, whether you feel like it or not. How many times have you not felt like cooking dinner, but your hungry family was waiting?

So find a time that works for you, and then stay with it. Tell  your family this is your time and to go find something else to do besides stand at your elbow and ask when you are going to be finished.

Because if you don’t, darlin’, that book will never get done.







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