Saturday, December 27, 2008

Writers Write

Making time to write can seem impossible. I get it. I have a fulltime job, I teach, I have a ten year old that takes piano lessons, is in the band, Girl Scouts, PeaceJam Juniors, etc… etc… I really do get it. Still, I can’t believe how many “writers” I meet who don’t actually write. They are chock full of great ideas for stories, they just never seem to get around to putting them on paper. Oh, maybe they will write once a week while they are taking my class. They want to write. They plan to write. And they plan to do it as soon as they have more time. Some day.

Here’s the thing: You will never have more time. You will always have too much on your plate. You will never have the luxury of holing up in a clay and wattle cabin in the Appalachians, overlooking a scenic vista, warming your brilliant writerly hands by a crackling fire.

If you want to write, you will do it sitting on the toilet with kids banging on the door, demanding to know what you are doing in there. The cotton ball earplugs are located in the bathroom – that’s a plus.

If you want to write, you’ll put your kids to bed and ply your husband with extra cake and beer, so he gets all full and sleepy and nods off halfway through the late show. Then you’ll tiptoe into your room, shake off the weary, and put one word after another.

Of course that means you have to give up the Sex and the City reruns you only get to watch when he’s asleep. You’ve probably seen ‘em all six times anyway.

My challenge to those of you who want to write: Promise yourself you will carve out a little time every day. Start small, say, 10 minutes a day. But do it. I promise, once you have made the commitment to make even a little bit of time every day to honor the craft of writing, you will be pleasantly surprised how life will begin to open up and accommodate you. You will be amazed at how much writing you can get done by wedging in a little time here and there - half an hour before everyone else gets up, 45 minutes in the wee hours of the night, fifteen minutes in the dentist office while you are waiting for the drugs to kick in. By drugs, I mean Novocain.

Now, if you are this very minute whining to yourself about how hard it going to be to find 10 minutes every day, maybe writing really isn’t your thing. Perhaps you don’t really like writing, after all. It’s O.K. Really. It’s not for everyone. If it’s not really for you, save yourself the headache and get back to Carrie & Mr. Big, with my blessings.

But, if you think you really DO want to write and not just think about writing, start right this minute. Stop surfing the web and start putting words on paper. 10 minutes. Go!

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