Accepting the Time to Write

Sunday, December 05, 2010
In terms of relationship longevity and not age, I have a dear, old friend who is a former colleague and a writer in England. Over the many years of friendship, we have formed a bit of our own writers' safety net.
You know how that is: a mutual admiration society comprised of one close friend who knows you really well and can call you out when you seem to be moving off track.
During our conversational times (that have recently moved into video Skype!), often the words "confidence," "plot," "situations," "point of view," "time to write," "deadline," and other supportive, writer-ly exchanges take place. Often, when we're not speaking, we exchange the morale boosting e-mail.
One recent thread was a discussion of finding time to write. For 10 months, I had been on a committee to be a volunteer/consultant with the commissioning of a naval vessel. In October and November, I breathed preparations for the event. But in between the committee meetings, I'd been trying to keep up with my paid writing, my family and friends, and trying to find a balance. Of course, my fiction writing took a decided turn on the back burner. I wanted to bring it back to the front burner by participating in NaNoWriMo, but in the balance of life, my friend suggested that I become like a deep-sea diver after November's event.
He recommended that the best way to recapture my fiction-writing pace was to dive into it; find a solid chunk of time, hold my breath and dive in. Once I had captured a lengthy patch of time, I would be more able to re-focus my work and take smaller bites to right my balance.
It starts sounding like a familiar refrain, as I read fellow Muffin bloggers holiday-preparedness posts and other writers.
How do you deal with the ebb and flow of life interfering in your writing progress? Do you ever feel like to get back on track you need to dive in for a significant period, without coming up for air?

Elizabeth King Humphrey is a writer/editor who lives in Wilmington, N.C., and is planning to don some fictional diving gear soon...real soon.


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