The work of writing


computer keysWriting is both a labor of love and a lot of work. A Charlotte Writers’ Club author said in a recent club newsletter that the more time she allows to elapse between writing sessions, the harder it is for her to sit down and write.

That is so true for me, too. When I write daily, I’m more engaged with my story. As I drive, I think about what my characters will do next. I rethink plot points as I work in the yard or do laundry. And my showers stretch out way too long, as I mentally rearrange events, sharpen dialogue, add tension to interactions and generally fine tune my story.

Yet, it is so easy to give myself a pass and take a few days off. The later it gets in the day, the more writing becomes a chore and the easier it is to find excuses. The batteries in the smoke detector need to be changed. The weeds are out of control. My car is past time for an oil change. My “down” time becomes filled with more acceptable chores that are a lot less mental work.

I need to write right after an early breakfast or around noon. After dinner, my brain’s first shift has gone home. By 9 p.m., the night shift has taken over. Enough said.

For every five days in a week that I meet or exceed my self-imposed daily word count, I give myself two days off. Those days, I don’t write unless I feel like it, but I keep thinking. Jotting down notes or leaving myself messages keep the creative juices flowing and make me eager to incorporate my brilliant ideas when my hiatus is over – or before!

So this Labor Day is not a day off. I’m at my computer, writing about Janelle’s doubts, her fight with her boss and what Paul’s friends tell the reporter. None of this might turn out like I imagined, but I won’t know until I start writing. And I can hardly wait to find out.

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2 Responses to The work of writing

  1. joyackley says:

    I wish I could discipline myself to write on a schedule. Like you, I think about writing much of the time. In my head, I’m creating scenes, developing characters, and engaging in back and forth dialogue between people in my story. If I could just sit down every day and write…..

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