Monday, August 29, 2011

The Biggest Obstacle to Writing

The alarms blares at 5 a.m.
Get up. Time to write.
No one is making me. I don't have to. I could get another hour of wonderful, restorative sleep. I could write on my lunch break instead...
You know how hard that is.
Get up.
I get up. Fuzzy-headed, I bless the Keurig and watch it dispense a cup of fuel. Then I turn on the laptop, let the dog outside, and sit down to write.
I can't believe I'm doing this so early...
But once I get into it, time melts away. Soon, I'm in a schoolroom in Scotland, trying to piece together a novel that makes sense. And then I realize it's nearly 6 and time to stop, get in the shower, and get on with things.

After so many years on my writing journey, I realize there are no shortcuts. I can spend hours reading about how to write. But it all comes down to actually doing it. And if I don't do it, then all it ever becomes is just a hobby I dabble with, not something that I want, some day, to be what I do. My lunch break just doesn't seem to work. The evenings are filled with other activities and time I want to spend with my husband. So that leaves 5 a.m.

I look forward to the day when it is so much a habit I don't think about it, when I don't have these internal discussions with myself about how much better I would feel with an extra hour's sleep under my belt. But until then, I wrestle with the biggest obstacle to writing of all--myself.

What about you? When do you write and how do you motivate yourself?


  1. With difficulty, I write better in the evenings, I'd love to be able to tell you I write every day, but truth is I probably average four evenings, and Saturday morning.

    I work full-time, have a family, and run a home, so every short cut I can take to give me more time, I use.

    This means internet food shopping, buying non iron clothing and bedding, being as organised as I can, and its hard work!

    I guess I'm no different to anyone else who really wants to write. :)

  2. My hat is off to you for being an evening writer! That's a challenging load to balance, and you are right--it's hard work. I love the idea of internet food buying... :)

  3. I have a looser schedule than you - I am self-employed so often have fair chunks to write. Not that I always use them. I write every Tuesday with a writing pal (last eleven years) and when I'm on a roll, I try to write for two hours a day. I'm doing revisions now and find it EVEN harder to get to my work.

  4. I hear you, Jan...for some reason, those revisions seem like an uphill climb! It seems that the actual getting the words on the page part really flowed. How neat that you have a writing partner. That's a great encouragement.

  5. I am an evening writer as well (since Stefanie before 10 am is angry-zombie-Stefanie, lol) But finding time to write while being in college, working part time, and having a husband is hard to do! But I somehow managed to finish a 65,000 word novel in 6 months, so it CAN be done. :-) But I write a lot after the hubby goes to bed, when the homework is done. I have to force myself to stop-playing-on-the-internet-and-just-write-something-already when I do have free time, though.