|If only this would work!|
Just as there are many ways to outline a novel or memoir, there are many ways to set up a writing routine. Finding the time to write can be daunting. Not many writers can afford—whether it’s time or money—to go away to write. That is for the lucky few. Most writers carry many pens…and lots of paper. I know I do. Writers are parents, teachers, caregivers, or executives. Some writers are doctors, lawyers, chefs, or small business owners. The fact is that most people have too much to do.
So what should writers do? First and foremost, a writer needs to know thyself—intimately. What works for you? Do you like to get up early to write, before your regular day begins? Or rather you could be like me and be awake anyway so you may as well get up to do something constructive. One of my favorite writers, Mary Higgins Clark, who also has five children, would get up at about 4 a.m. to write before her children stirred in the morning. Some writers come alive at night when the house is quiet and dark, the only illumination coming from their computer screens and faces. Some writers are lucky and can tuck in what I call “writing chunks of time” throughout the day and thereby rack up the word count and storyline.
However you can find time to write is good and right for you. Then try and make it a routine for yourself. Like exercising. In fact, when I’m exercising, I’m usually writing in my mind. Sometimes, I work out scenes and passages in my stories or essays, so I always keep paper and pen nearby. I use exercise tapes, or rather DVD’s now, an old habit from the days when my children were too little to leave alone to go to a gym, so I can pause the DVD to jot down ideas for my writing. Walking or hiking outdoors is a good exercise to help me clear the mind of all my obligations and think about my writing. Sometimes, I carry a small tape recorder.
The most important thing is not to get too discouraged if you miss a writing session. Tomorrow’s a brand new opportunity to get back into the computer seat and start creating. I’ve written about 13,000 words this first month of my Write Your Memoirin Six Months course and have many thousands more to write. This is only the beginning.