“The way you define yourself as a writer is that you write every time you have a free minute. If you didn’t behave that way you would never do anything.”
Novelist John Irving (1942-)
One of my biggest challenges as an aspiring novelist is finding the time to write enough to seem like I’ve actually made progress. I’ll admit that the jealousy bug sometimes bites when I hear of (or read about) people whose job it is to write — and on their novel or short stories or self-help book, not something their boss tells them to do. Yes, I write every day — because that’s my job. It’s a good job and allows me to work from home and helps me sharpen some skills. Those are good things, but it’s still a long way from Novel Land.
I would love to have even one solid hour a day to work on my novel (see, I don’t ask for much!). Some days that happens, but I can’t always count on it.
So what’s a girl to do? Write in the tiny pockets of time I do have, and be grateful for them. I’ve gone through phases with this, and one of my goals for 2010 is to get back in that mindset — remembering that even a few sentences, even a couple of paragraphs begin to make a difference when I string enough of them together.
I think it comes back to the quote from John Irving. Writers write. Yes, we also plot or invent backstory or lose ourselves in research, but none of it means anything if we don’t actually write. True writers have such a burning desire to write that they do it wherever they are, however they can, in whatever length of time might be available. No matter how much they might try to ignore it or how long they might try to set it aside, the story just won’t go away. That’s the joy I want to capture and keep as I keep on keepin’ on.
I’d love to learn from you. How do you do that in your own writing?