Thursday, February 25, 2021

A Writer’s Reprieve

So I’m building something from scratch. From the ground up. No, not a novel. That would be much easier. It’s an online summer writing institute. And doing so is crazy. Like 18-hours-a-day crazy.

It’s obviously cut into my writing pace. There’s no getting around that. I’m not getting 500 or 750 words a day, which is my goal. But I’m getting something. Every day.

This has been on my mind a lot recently: How has my day job this year impacted my writing? I’m busier than ever before. Making time to write –– thirty minutes here and there –– has become my outlet. A reprieve.

I imagine you all know what I’m talking about. Most of you live this same existence. Writing is what keeps you going; it’s never easy, but writing is also a wonderful break from reality. I find myself returning to the work-in-progress each day and exhaling. Do I wish I had four hours of uninterrupted time to really push the book forward? Of course. But I’ll take what I can get. I always have.

And the pace may not be breakneck. But there are many stories of writers (Ed McBain, Chuck Palahniuk) chipping away at books while working long hours: a sentence here and there until the work is done. Going back each day to see what you’ve written and driving to the next yard marker.

Stephen King says write a book in three months. It would be nice to never break the rhythm, but the reprieve is what keeps me going.

Keeley, 12, finally left the virtual classroom for in-person classes Monday. Here's her “First Day of School” pic.

No comments: