Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Writing Pangs: Schedules

"I'm gonna do it."

No, you're not. The television beckons. Besides, it's HD.

"Okay. Real Housewives is over. Now, it's word slingin' time."

Wrong again, Writer. You've been neglecting your video games. That princess isn't in the business of saving herself. And don't fool yourself into thinking you're almost finished. She's in another castle.

"Done. She didn't even say thanks. Time to write."

Nope. Your son has a ball. Time to play.

"Finally. Kid is in bed, asleep. I think I'll head there myself. Tomorrow will be better."

Keep telling yourself that, Mr. Draft Jockey.

Maintaining a writing schedule isn't easy. It's frought with obstacles. Real Life comes rumbling in. It stomps on my writing and makes a litterbox of my notes and ideas, mocking me with its urgency to be addressed. When Big Resposibilities come calling, the ol' writing schedule is the first to get axed.

Because people are depending on me. Real Life needs me. I'm a grown-up, after all. Whether I like it or not, I've been drafted.

Unless I fight back.

Real Life has whipped me with its cat o' nine tails. It has pierced me with guilt. But I'm still writing.

How have I managed so far? I've made writing more important than my Dumb Time. Mindless television? Gone. Video games? Bye-bye. My son still gets playtime with Dad, though. It's about prioritization. It's about adjustment. I don't know exactly how other writers do it. I don't pretend to. I've read a bajillion books on writing over the years and no advice has given me that epiphanic episode of pure understanding.

I just sit down and face-off with a blank screen. I pray the words out. I will them to appear.

And then they do.


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