September 03, 2008

Write Every Day - Bonnie Way

The book title caught my eye: The Maeve Binchy Writer's Club. Was it fiction about a group of writers? Or nonfiction about how to write? Either way, I was interested, and I picked it up. It turned out to be a series of letters from Maeve to a group of beginning writers. The first chapter was her advice to find time every day to write. No matter what.

Great, I thought, and put the book down again. That was exactly what I'd been struggling with lately. How, between feeding, changing, and playing with a six-month-old, not to mention laundry, dishes, housecleaning, groceries, and other chores, was I supposed to fit in some writing? And yet I said I wanted to write. So I had to do it. Nap time would work, I decided. I could write while she was sleeping, and then I wouldn't have to worry about finding her new toys every five minutes or picking her up after she fell over (she's still learning to sit up).

For Maeve and other writers, getting up in the wee hours of the morning was what got their books written. The only times I've managed to get up very early in the morning to do anything were when my mother was waking me up, and wouldn't take "I'm tired!" for an answer. We used to go swimming twice a week at 5:00 in the morning. The drive to the pool was absolutely silent, as I was still half-asleep and barely consious. Once woken up by the swim, however, we had a marvelous chat on the way home. So waking up very early didn't seem like it would work for me - without, say, my husband kicking me out of bed.

But yesterday he started teaching. We woke up at 7:00. Sunshine usually sleeps until 9:00. I grabbed my opportunity and sat down at the computer. I was so excited to have a couple hours that I barely knew where to start. I researched markets, looked up guidelines, sent off a query, wrote a couple short pieces. Sunshine slept on as the clock crept towards 9:00 and then past. I read some more, wrote some more. She finally woke up at 10:00, and as we went through our morning routines, I felt good. I'd finally done it.

I read some more Maeve Binchy while I rocked Sunshine to sleep. She talked about inspiration, as Marcia did in the last post here. There's an old cliche that writing is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration, but setting a regular writing time can help you train your muse. Seems I've been waiting for my missing muse lately, and just need to go on without him.

This morning, I woke up with my husband again. But so did Sunshine. So much for that plan, I thought, and waited for naptime. So here I am... writing.

1 comment:

  1. Writing is the reverse of caffeine. The former we have to get OUT of our system to rest easy; the latter we have to get INTO our system to get moving. Both are essential to the muse's well-being.

    Thanks for your wonderful words.


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