Sunday, June 30, 2013


No time to write! Have you caught yourself saying that? For the moment it eases the guilt (yes, almost all the writers I know battle with guilt). You want to write, you call yourself a writer, you have all kinds of wonderful ideas for plots and characters but . . . darn it, you just don't have time to write.

There are meals to cook, laundry to wash, perhaps a day job, demanding children, demanding pets, meetings, gardens to weed, groceries to buy, movies you'd rather watch . . . the list is endless. No wonder you have no time to write! 

The solution? You have to MAKE time. Writing has to become one of your priorities. At least as important as laundry!

James Scott Bell talks about learning to snatch time. Find those moments in a day when you could write for ten or fifteen minutes.  How about while you're waiting for something to cook on the stove, in waiting rooms, on the bus? There are so many portable lightweight devices available that make it easy to carry your writing along with you. Good old fashioned pen and paper works too!

I like to make a quick schedule for the day, usually last thing before I go to bed the night before. I allot a slot for writing and I make a commitment that I will write at that time. It's great if you can write at the same time every day (the writing will generally come more easily) but it's more important to write. Any time.

Put a Do Not Disturb sign on your door. Turn off your phone. Refuse to answer emails. Do whatever it takes to give yourself the time to write.

When I was teaching school, I got up every day (well, most days) at five o'clock and wrote until seven. Now I have the luxury of being able to sleep in and I kind of miss those early mornings. Those two hours were incredibly productive - probably because I knew they were the only two hours I had.

Some advice from Nigel Watts in Write a Novel and Get it Published . . .

Free time will rarely come knocking at your door. You must make the time if you're serious about writing.

Elizabeth George in Write Away can't put it more directly .  . .

I suit up and show up. I sit down at the computer and I do the work, moving it forward a sentence at a time, which is ultimately the only way there is to write a book.


Half Brother by Kenneth Oppel

I love this story of a family who brings an eight day old chimpanzee into their home as part of a scientific research project. Half Brother has won all kinds of accolades including winner of the CLA Book of the Year for Children Award.

GoodReads says: Half Brother isn't just a story about a boy and a chimp. It's about the way families are made, the way humanity is judged, the way easy choices become hard ones, and how you can't always do right by the people and animals you love. In the hands of master storyteller Kenneth Oppel, it's a novel you won't soon forget.



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