Contrary to what many of you might imagine, a career in letters is not without its drawbacks--chief among them the unpleasant fact that one is frequently called upon to actually sit down and write.
--Fran Lobowitz, Metropolitan Life
Truthfully, I don't know who Fran Lobowitz is. She's correct, of course, but I'm in a bit of a panic. Just looking for employment has diminished my writing time to almost nothing. What will trying to write be like when I'm actually working a job, juggling relationships and responsibilities?
I've given this some thought.
Finding time to write will take much more than discipline. (I've requested a seat-belted desk chair for Christmas in case I'm wrong.) And a schedule can corral just so many minutes. A housekeeper is out of the question, given I'll earn less than she would in an hour. No, this will be much, much harder than creating a new schedule and delegating house chores.
I have to change my thinking.
Ouch! Yes, this smacks a little.
I've always equated quality writing time with oceans of unclaimed minutes of stillness. I do believe really good fiction requires more time, but not necessarily in wide swaths of time, just the kind of time that allows for tons of rewriting counted in years.
Let's consider the worst case scenario: I only find 15 minutes to write each day. Can I still be a novelist?
Let's do an experiment. I'm going to hop on over to Word and write for 15 minutes to see what I can accomplish.
I'll be right back...
I'll never look at 15 minutes the same again. I wrote 450 words or 1/222th of a novel! At that rate, I'll have a rough draft in 222 days. This is encouraging because I'm pretty sure I can find an hour a day. I waste an hour a day, easily. How much better to claim that hour as a prize and not a limitation.
This is going to be an adjustment.
For those of you who aren't Paris Hilton, how do you find the time to write? What adjustments in your expectations have you had to make? Do you negotiate with your family? Is it more productive to write very early before work, or do after-work hours work best? How do you do it? Help!