Writers: Know Thyself

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.   

6 thoughts on “Writers: Know Thyself”

  1. Great post, Victoria! Like Mary Higgins Clark, when my children were younger, I would also get up early to write before they woke up. Now that my children are older, afternoons are for writing. And…I'm almost finished my fifth book!

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  2. Thank you so much, ladies, for visiting my Adventures in Writing blog.

    Ellen, Bravo on your fifth book! What an accomplishment. You are an inspiration to us all. And lucky you to be able to write in the afternoons. So do the boys and your husband realize that the afternoons belong to you?

    Thank you, Karen, for offering your good wishes. I need them.

    Theresa, this is only the beginning. February is a short month. I pray I can do it again…and then again. You are truly amazing in all you accomplish in your writing and publishing and working full time in the school system. You are also an inspiration to everyone. All mothers seem to carve time and space to accomplish something.

    Thank you again for all your good wishes. They are truly appreciated.

    Reply
  3. I feel that exercising is a great time to think, too. I'm not writing a memoir, but I'm always thinking about possible lesson plans and activities. Keeping paper close by is a great idea. Good luck with your memoir!

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  4. Thank you, Michelle, for visiting my Adventures in Writing blog. Yes, when the children finally leave me alone and my body is on autopilot performing the exercise program, I get a lot of thinking done. Pencil and paper for note taking helps me remember the stuff after the exercising program is finished.

    Thank you for your good wishes. I need them. Please stop by my Adventures in Writing blog again.

    Reply

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