Wednesday, January 27, 2010

When Reality Gets In The Way of Writing

I am always envious when I hear that writers have unlimited time to write. Now and then, I hear of those people that get up in the morning, have a leisurely breakfast, read the newspaper, maybe get a little work out in and then write. The day is theirs. For most writers though, this is not the case. Reality gets in the way.

If you are one of those writers, understand you are not alone. Others have grocery shopping, house clearning and certainly that ugly word called WORK. But the successful writers have found a way around it.

You may not be able to sit down every day and bang out that needed chapter, but you can always find a way to take some time for your craft. Keep ideas flowing. Take 5 minutes before you "get started with your day" and plot a little, craft a character, send out one query. The key is to do something.

So, why do I bring this up? Today is one of those days for me. My daughter, who has been fighting a running nose is now going on day 3. Cog in the works. The day of excessive calls to editors and proposals to write and submissions to read is gone. So what do I do? I limit. It might simply be the calls to the editor. That is a must do and I can put the other things to the side.

No problem.



  1. Five minutes to send out a query?

    When we are told to research an agent's preferences and the authors he represents, read his websites/blogs and any interviews he has done, follow him on Twitter then craft a query that will knock his socks off?

    You jest, surely.

  2. The assumption was that you have already done that. Agreed, 5 minutes might be tough, but you can certainly get a head start on it.


  3. Huh.

    That's like saying it takes five minutes to have a baby - not counting the preceding nine months or the labour.

  4. No, no, no. Combine two things. Read Nathan Branford's (sp?) excellent past blog (DMLA) on how to write a query. Very simple formula. You simply fill in the blanks. And, remember what Donald Maass himself said, that a good book can and should be possible to describe in one sentence. Make it into a game and work on it in the brief period before getting out of bed in the morning. This can really be fun. Don't believe it?
    Moby Dick. Man chases fish.
    Yes, it can be done. Some of my best writing has resulted from making small parts of it into a word game for the DMLA.
    Even more important, the writers who CAN do this will inevitably rise in the pack. Believe in yourself and get moving. Anyone can do this.

  5. Okay, Moby Dick: man chases fish.

    But what about The Old Man and the Sea: man chases fish?

    And all the novels that could be summed up as girl loves unattainable boy?