Gotta Get It While You Can
Three things help a writer be more effective:
- A place to write
- scheduled time to write, and
- uterine vellum soaked, limed, and scudded, then dried on a stretching frame. Oh yeah, and a fountain pen Rudyard Kipling used to scratch his ear.
In addition, I’ve had to decide how bad I want to finish my novel (to the point of querying agents). The answer, as it turns out, is A LOT.
Tangentially related Monty Python bit:
To do that, I have to be less choosy about when and where I write.
Jeff VanderMeer, of who I’m so fond of referencing, puts a nice fine point on it:
It’s this: what other writers do doesn’t matter. Syne Mitchell told my [Clarion West] class: “Figure out what works for you. And do it. Lots.” And I’m repeating it because that is seriously good advice. You don’t need to write two thousand words a day like Stephen King. You don’t have to write in silence, or with only classical musical playing, or while sticking your head in a Victrola after downing a bottle of cheap red wine. What you need to do is experiment and find what gets you writing, and keeps you writing. If someone tells you, “X is the only way to write,” kick them in the figurative nuts and go elsewhere.
Ever since I read this, I’ve worked to stretch myself, to shoehorn my writing in to small moments in between, well, living. I’ve managed better than I thought.
I’ve never been an early riser unless work demanded it. But I’ve been waking early as of late (is that possible?) and getting at it. So far so good. I may be tired, but it’s not the kind of tired I am at the end of the day. Also, I feel better about my day knowing I’ve gotten at least some writing done.