Good morning all. It’s Kacey once again. I hope you’re having a great weekend!
I recently had a family member text me and ask me to do them this immediate favor, and it had to be now. Backing up a bit, I never turn off my phone when writing because I have a mom and a grandfather with heart disease, a diabetic son, a husband that works in a factory and 2 other children who may need me at any moment. So unless they are all home in this house, and my mom is home (my front door to hers is about 50 feet, 2 houses on one property), then I never turn off the cell phone. It’s nothing for a text to come from this person or that, I’ll take a peek then commence with wordage. However, this particular day, it was text after text until I answered with a “what”, snarling under my breath even though they couldn’t hear me. The favor, albeit was important (kinda! – to them it was!) I texted back with a “I’m writing at the moment, I’ll do it the second I am done this chapter or done for the day.” Of course, key up about 10 more texts, but it was one in particular that raised my hackles, the red hair on my head started to burn and the blood in my veins burned …
“You’re sitting on your ass typing. Take five minutes for cripes sake and then get back to the almighty bestseller. FFS.”
Oh you all should have been flies on the wall! Of course the FFS (for fuck’s sake) nearly sent me over the edge, but I composed myself, set my phone to mute any further texts/calls from the particular person and continued to write. But I did move from the endearing scene I was writing to a fight scene. The bad guy got his ass seriously kicked, just saying.
So all this leads me to today’s post.
This job is not always easy and it’s not always set hours and you have to get your writing in when you can. It’s NOT a simple 9 to 5 or an 8 to 4 or noon to 5 gig. There are things / people in your life that will interfere just as you’re on a roll, who will need your immediate attention, or ruin your whole day by stopping by without calling first! Hell, all I could think was — damn, this ass is ruining my mojo — and it’s just an example of the distractions writers can have no matter how much they try and keep the interruptions at bay.
A lot of writers do have set schedules, and I admire them greatly for it. During the summer especially, I do not have a solid writing routine and I squeeze in sprints as many times through the day as I can. There are no excuses for not finding writing time. Sometimes I think I could write a book on what I feel like are excuses if I only get in 50 words instead of 5000, but I have kids, a farm, annoying as F*ck family who want favors then insult me, and life gets in the way. See, even I know these do sound like excuses when I should be planting my ass in a chair and writing, but it’s not so easy. Writing time is precious and I wish it was easy. I mean there are many authors with EDJs (evil day jobs) and they manage to crank out a book every couple months. Some who have more kids than my 3 – I tell ya Doris O’Connor is a goddess with 9 children and I have to wonder at her stamina – and lives that are as busy, if not busier than mine, and still manage. These authors are amazeballs to me.
My sprints are blessings to me, especially in summer. I can do 3-4 sets, sometimes 200 words because an added plot twist comes into play so I end up brainstorming, sometimes 1000 good words that make the final cut, or on a really good day an 8000 word total day. That happened to me twice and I’d give anything to have more of those days! I carry notebooks with me everywhere I go now and I’ve stolen a few quick moments in the parking lots of many grocery stores a few times! LOL There have been times in the past when I have woken from a deep sleep, bolted out of bed and wrote from 1 a.m. to 4 a.m. — then got back up at 6 to get kids ready for school!
I’m also the type of writer who tries not to let writing take up too much of my day. My husband works split shifts so in the evenings he is home I tend not to write, and every other weekend he has off, so there’s family things we all do together. Same with my kids, I don’t want my kids to feel as though they come second to my career, even though they are 14, 17 & 20, the youngest still needs that one on one time a lot so I do most of my writing when the kids are in bed. But sometimes that’s also easier said than done because by then I’m so tired I can’t think straight.
I confess, I get some ugly green monsters erupt in my belly whenever I see an author say they’ve typed “The End” or an author crank out 2 books a month. Not that I wish them any writer’s blocks or struggles they can’t work through, it’s just a natural reaction (I hope) that many might have, wanting to complete their next great story and give it to readers sooner than they expect. But my writing schedule is crazy and I’ve been struggling a lot lately. I haven’t managed to find that “click” where I can write and ignore everything else. I need to teach myself, even after many years of writing, to put me and my characters first sometimes. There are some days when I will lock myself away, but that isn’t usually unless hubby is home and he can handle the distractions. But then the family time factor comes in to play and it’s a roller coaster all over again! And again, I have a son who is Diabetic so there are always struggles there that he needs assistance with, and it’s a never-ending worry for me.
And a lot of authors probably have their moments as well to find those quiet writing moments, and try to stay focused and disciplined with a strict schedule. But it’s okay if you don’t. I’m here to tell you it is. You’ll feel guilty on a regular basis, I do, because it’s a feeling that you’re giving up quality time with family, etc., when you’re really not (try to get the heart and brain to compute that), and the day will come when you can write without worry over the other million things that occupy the day.
I do hope I get there one day when I can push everything else out of my head. And you will too. If you haven’t already, keep trooping on. Do you and no one else. I know what a lot of authors are probably thinking about what I’ve said and disagreeing, they are probably quoting Nora too LOL, but I have to accept what I’m granted with. For now. I know the day will come when distractions won’t be around and rude family will realize that this is a dream of mine and support it. Until then, I keep slugging along and writing what I can.
So don’t be discouraged (I’ll try not to be as well). There is no set rule for all authors to follow. Your writing schedule is yours and no one can tell you it’s wrong. Just remember not everyone writes the same way as far as routine, you set your own writing times, the ones that work for you and your family.
That’s the lesson here. What works for you and those in your life! Right now it’s taking me a bit longer than ever to write a story, and yet this time last year, I wrote 3 books in 6 months. Life throws curve balls, it’s not 9 to 5 and it’s not always easy.
But I get up each day and put some words on paper. The great Nora Roberts, who is one of my biggest writing idols, once said …
And I do my best to fill at least one page a day.
I hope you fill at least one page every day too.
Until next week,
Happy writing, happy reading.