One of my favorite musical groups is
I wish I could be as flippant about time as the singer claims to be. Fact is, time matters. Especially when it comes to my writing. I have the savings to permit one year off my day job—and that’s a stretch. Thus, I have to make the most of it and get as much solid writing done as possible. That’s why I’m keeping to a schedule of writing six days a week. Normally I hate schedules, but I can’t afford to amble through my twelve months like a loopy flower child. (After all, that’s the ’60s, an amazing decade, but come on! One can only retreat so far in one’s imaginary time capsule.)
Six days a week. No time off for holidays. I began by “pushing myself” to aspire to three hours of actual writing time each day. That doesn’t sound like much but, in the beginning, it was hard to achieve. I’m not the kind of writer who can sit and just write for the sake of writing, content in knowing that a good chunk will end up crumpled in a virtual trash can. Sure, I go through significant revisions, but none of this starting over that I hear other writers talking about.
Three hours a day became three and a half after I read an article about Stephen King’s writing habits. If 3.5 works for King, it’ll work for me. After awhile, I came to the harsh, but obvious realization that I am no Stephen King. I upped my time to four hours daily. And it’s working!
While I have to be conscious of time, the luxury I do have is flexibility in my day. If I get distracted or delay my morning start, I don’t need to beat myself up over it. I just have to fit in the time at some point before I turn in for the night. Yes, I’ve had one session that ran past which is technically into a new day, but 230 minutes is not enough.
I realize that my four-hour allotment is the kind of artificiality that