Monday, October 25, 2010

Write Every Day

Do you realize that if you wrote only one page every day for a year, you'd have 365 pages. That equals one adult novel, or one and a half YAs, or two middle-grades, or five chapter books, and a crazy number of picture books and short stories!

And if you took off weekends and holidays, you'd still write over 200 pages.

It's so easy NOT to write, though. That toilet just has to be cleaned the minute I sit down to write. The phone rings and demands to be answered. I have to check Facebook and my email. There are blogs to read. And I almost forgot! I have a coupld of tweets to write -- will that count toward my writing time?

It's a lot easier to write if you have a time to write. During that time segment, sit down at your computer and write. DO NOT go on the internet at all. If you have to do any research that would involve going online or getting up from your chair, put xxx in the place in your manuscript where you need it and then keep writing. You can always go back and fill in what you need. Instead, focus on getting the words down. Get the story written.

It's also a lot easier to write if you have a special place. That doesn't mean you have to have a fancy desk. You don't even have to have only one place to write. I have a desk; it's not fancy, but it works. I also have a laptop that I can take with me. So I do! I've started taking it to work and writing on my break. That's what my son does, because he works full-time and wants to be able to play with his 19-month-old daughter when he gets home. I was impressed with how much he gets done on his netbook, so I decided to try it for myself.

You don't even have to sit in front of a computer/laptop/netbook/ipad to write. Carry a notebook or notepad with you and write. Sit in the park or in a coffeehouse and write. Write while you're waiting for the doctor or for an appointment. Write while you're in the car line at school, waiting to pick up your kids.

The point is that you should really try hard to write every day. I know there are days when you're sick or your kids are sick, or both. I know there are days when you are so crazy busy that you don't know which end is up. I know there are days when you'd rather prop up your feet on the coffee table and lose yourself in some mindless TV show or movie. Been there, done all of that. But here's the truth: You're a writer, right? Then you need to write. Every day, if at all possible.

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