November 14, 2013

The late John Lennon noted that life is what happens to us while we're busy doing other things. One of the truisms of the writing life is that writing is something that has to be squeezed in around the other demands in the writer's life. At least until the writer becomes successful enough to quit the proverbial day job and focus primarily on his or her craft. Most of us, if not all, have commitments and responsibilities in addition to our consuming desire to write. Things like paying bills and earning the funds to pay those bills, or spending meaningful time with our main squeeze, kids, other family members and friends, or maintaining our homes, shopping for groceries and other necessities, and participating in our communities as responsible citizens. For most of us, these things pretty much fill up our days - including weekends - and much of our evenings too.

The challenge for those who have yet to reach the level where our literary efforts are financially viable, is how and where to find time to write on a consistent basis. There is no universal, or one-size-fits-all, solution. Many writers choose to rise early in the morning before the demands of the day are imposed upon them. This might mean 5a.m. or earlier. Many successful writers occupy their morning hours with their writing efforts. But this is not an absolute. Some writers don't hear their Muse until later in the day or evening when they've cleared everything else out of the way. This, for example, seems to work best for me. The point is it's your schedule, your menu of daily demands, and your Muse. 

Another question is how often should you write. Should you compose parts of your current novel very single day? Some writers probably do, but that seems unrealistic. There will be days when the juices just aren't flowing or something else presents a greater demand for your time or you don't want to write because you're on vacation or otherwise taking a break from the grind. But the biggest challenging to working on your next novel is the endless editing and rewriting required of the  novel you've completed but which isn't ready yet for publishing. Granted, rewriting is a form of creative writing, but it isn't the same as creating a story out of whole cloth. And if you don't go through this process of tightening and improving your manuscript, your chances of finding a market for it are slim at best. Why waste your time writing novels if you're not going to try to earn a return on those efforts?

The bottom line is: it's tough to find time to work consistently on creating a new manuscript - even for financially successful writers. But don't get discouraged. Things always seem to take longer than you originally thought they would. But stick with it. Ultimately it's personally satisfying. And, besides, that Muse won't shut up anyway.

© John Wayne Falbey 2017 All Rights Reserved