How do you protect your writing time…or not?
Hello Debs and readers, and welcome to my first blog. The lovely and talented Tish has asked me to fill in for her, so I am here as a guest. I noticed that last week there was a fire theme and this week there seems to be a water theme. I’ll try to work water in somewhere, but I really want to talk about writing time.
I got my first book deal a couple of months ago and I was obviously wildly excited. I was particularly excited that I could now justify getting some part-time babysitting for my 16-month-old and dedicate some time to writing every day. (I originally thought I’d have lots of time to write, while at home with the baby. Oh, what fools these mortals be…)
So, I set about looking for childcare and started imagining my life with a real writing schedule. Every day I would be on fire. I would be in a blissful state of creativity and productivity. I would finish the next book in no time, heck, maybe I’d write two books over the summer. I would take no phone calls, brook no distractions, I would be a perfect writer!
It was a good plan.
I am now three weeks into my new writing schedule and it’s going well. Only…please don’t tell anybody… but I have taken some naps. I have taken naps and gone on walks and even (shh) gone out for coffee. I just spent two days at BookExpo Canada and tomorrow I even made a lunch date with a friend from out of town who couldn’t meet any other time. Not good.
Even when I manage to stay in the house, I take unnecessary trips to the kitchen to get water or hunt for chocolate—you know, the kind of chocolate that makes your book magically write itself, if you can just eat enough of it? And if I manage to stay at my computer, well, obviously, important people are emailing me every five minutes on all three email accounts and they can’t be made to wait. In addition there really is a lot of industry news I should be keeping up on and then there’s research to do and what about that great article about procrastination…? Boy, I really should read that again.
So how is my new book coming along? You may well ask. In spite of myself, I have made progress, but the perfect, magical writing time I have been craving and dreaming of is eluding me. Okay, let’s be
honest, I am eluding it.
After three weeks, I’ve realized it’s time to get serious. I need to protect my writing time from the temptations of the world and, worse, from my own slacker inclinations.
What do you do to keep distraction at bay? What’s your biggest downfall? Come on, I know you have one…
Note: If you are my editor or my agent, and you are reading this, it’s total fiction. The real story is that I am slaving away at a work of genius. Don’t worry.
Falling Under, Plume/Penguin Spring 2008