Wednesday, May 23, 2012


I don't have time to write. It's a common excuse. It's one I use frequently because it is frequently true. I don't have time to write if I make time for other things, like hugging my kids, walking the dogs, making dinner, spending a couple hours with hubby after the girls go to sleep... Having a life.

Life gets in the way. It does for every writer.

That's because, for most writers, there is no one looking over our shoulder making sure we're getting our work done. Our boss is our own sense of discipline, and that can be a pretty lame task master. Even a contract and a deadline are a weak force that acts like gravity: The further away the deadline is, the weaker its pull.

The problem with writing is, even for a professional, it can feel like a hobby. That's because for the longest time, before we get published, writing is basically a hobby. It's something we as beginning writers did in our spare time, like weeding the garden or embroidering linen napkins.

But the truth is, if you want to get published and keep getting published, your hobby has to be your job. That means you have to be willing to let writing be more important than walking the dogs or opening the mail. Sometimes it even has to be more important than hugging your kids. Even though we might work in our pajamas, writers have to at least pretend that when the whistle blows, we must be working. The other things will just have to wait. Because if we had real jobs, you can bet we'd do all kinds of acrobatics to put the cute babies down and give the dog a chewy and rush out the door to get to work on time.

So here's me pretending that I hear my boss coming down the hallway to check on my progress. Here's me getting to work.

Here's me writing:


  1. The problem here it seems is trying to devote the time to both your love of writing and your love for your surroundings. I can see it being a devotion that has to happen in both instances of reality. I truly believe you could be the next Suzanne Collins. Let your Agent do the literary connection headaches and have a life will all you love to do and never give up being who you are.

    Don from the Kootenays

  2. Meant have a life with all you love to do.

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  4. Thank you for the compliment, Don. I think Collins is quite brilliant!

  5. Now I am not writing. When I choose to write, I will be writing. But that doesn't mean I'm not thinking about writing, jotting notes, character traits or listening to their voices say how much they have left to do.

    We write, now, when we observe what is around us, now. It just may not show up on the page right yeah, I guess I am writing, now.