Sunday, January 1, 2012

Getting Ready

Not writing today? That's understandable. It's a Sunday and a holiday. Still...

It would be easy (and relatively painless) to clean up your writing space a bit and get ready for tomorrow's writing. Five minutes today? Ten? Fifteen at the most? Then tomorrow, ready to go.

Here's what Little Willie says about that:

Week Two, Day 2
LWS: When and Where You Write Best

It probably doesn’t help you much if I say the best place to write is England, unless you’re in England or can easily get there. Probably worse if I say the best time to write is the late-sixteenth and early-seventeenth century, unless you have a time machine.

It’s true that going on a “writer’s retreat” is lovely and having a (paid!) sabbatical can be a delight, but at that retreat spot or on that leave, each day you need a place to write and a time to write. You need those day after day after day because a book becomes a book by a writer working on it day after day after day.

Let’s talk about time first. It doesn’t matter if you are a night owl or an early bird. There’s probably a best time of the day for you when it comes to writing. Some writers discover, much to their horror, that they may be night owls but they do their best writing first thing in the (early!) morning. That means while they’re working on a book they have to get to bed earlier than they like in order to get up earlier than they ever wanted to.

Or it might be because of other demands—family, job, life—some writers can’t get to their manuscripts until late in the evening. That’s when the household is finally quiet and they can have that forty-five minutes or an hour to themselves. As you’re discovering, if you didn’t already know, having a block of quiet and uninterrupted time makes a huge difference in your ability to concentrate and write.

True story: When my own family was pestering me in so many ways and I had very little time to myself to work, I’d crack off a sonnet. There! At least I got something done! (“When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes/I all alone beweep my outcast state” . . . in the loo. Really. “Papa! Papa! I have to . . . ” “Give me a minute, Hamnet!” Yes, the little dear’s name was Hamnet.)

Find your time. Find your place. And keep it sacred. If only for another seven weeks and four days, when your novel will be completed.

Just keep writing!

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