I never seem to have enough time in a day to write the way I want to write. Make that, write the volume I want to write.
When I’m in the zone, I can sit at my laptop in my writing loft for the entire day and not do anything else but compose. If I am uninterrupted by phone calls, tweets and email announcements, I can pretty much chug along for the whole day. The longest I’ve ever gone is a solid 12 hours with a bathroom break every 2 hours to rid myself of the Diet Mountain Dew I imbibed like it was water.
Kinesiologists will tell you I am probably doing severe damage to my legs, spinal cord, and butt from sitting in a dependent position all day, and there’s probably some truth to that. When I do get up I tend to be uberstiff and need to stretch all my long muscles to keep them from cramping.
But after I see the volume I’ve typed – the page count that’s been birthed – I know I can live with some muscle cramps if it means I am producing good work.
I hate to be interrupted.
I. Hate. It.
Especially when I am going along a great clip and the dialogue is flowing like pearls from my lips – yes, I speak aloud my dialogue when I write to make sure it sounds correct and like english – the descriptions are all dead on and the exposition isn’t filled with purple prose and platitudes. The plot is moving forward, the characters are growing appropriately and learning from scene to scene. It feels good, this sense of accomplishment I get when the pages are racking up. I feel like I am putting together a coherent story that can be followed by the reader, and – hopefully – liked.
But then reality sets in.
The door bell rings and it’s the hot UPS guy with a delivery. The phone pings and it’s a caller I have to talk to, not a telemarketer I can ignore. Dinner time rolls around and I have to cook for the family, not make reservations again for takeout or going out.
Twenty-four hours seems like a lot of time to a writer, but consider the time used in sleeping, eating, working ( if writing is not your means of support) family obligations, and anything else that can literally remove you from your word program. After all that, 24 hours isn’t so much.
If I get a solid hour or two on a working day, at least it’s something. On my days off, I strive for much more.
Sometimes I hit that goal, most times, not.
So, since I can’t wring out more than 24 hours in any given day, let’s try this instead: I won’t answer the phone – in fact I’ll put my cell to silent and then just check on it periodically. I’ll get all the chores of daily life done first and then devote the rest of my freedom to writing. I won’t answer emails, troll Facebook, or update my Twitter feed while I am writing. I will let it all go sideways, and straighten it out when I am done creating.
Sound like a plan?
Yeah, a really hard one to carryout…..sigh….