I read writing magazines sometimes, and one of the articles that comes up perenially is the “How to Quit Making Excuses and Actually Write” feature. It seems that I am not the only writer who can be pretty bad at getting down to writing. There are plenty of logical reasons. I work an overloaded week, plus grad school. Writing is not always (or even often) fun enough to entice me to the computer. I am still learning what works for me as a writer in terms of scheduling (early or late? write a set number of words/pages a day or whenever I feel inspired, regardless of word count?), and I’ve been noticing that even if I find a good rhythm, what works one day usually changes by the next week or so. Hitting a writing rhythm is more like swimming in an ocean than a pool, and it can be exhausting to locate the current, never mind work once I’m in it.
Here’s the thing, though. I always make time for my boyfriend, even during finals week. I never go a day without reading for pleasure, even if it’s just a few pages, even if I have to sacrifice half an hour of sleep to get it. If I want to make cookies for one group of friends and catch up with another friend, I’ll put her on speaker phone so I can talk and knead dough simultaneously. I insist on having time for the people and activities that are most important to me. It’s fairly clear to me that what I must do if I want to start getting this writing thing right is treat it as if I want it as badly as I want to read, or say good night to Andrew, even if that is not the case.
My plan over Christmas break is to write the lion’s portion of a novel. I’d like a minimum of 40,000 words done by the time I go back to class on January 24th. Yesterday, according to the schedule I’d drawn out for myself, I should have hit 2500 words. I’m at about 600. I’d like to hit 25,000 by the end of this year. I’m going to try and post here every week or so on how it’s going (one of my plans is to have a more active presence on my little site, too), and we’ll see if I can beat this “no time” myth. Wish me luck!