Rereading Jane Yolen’s Take Joy, has reminded me about several important things I’ve maybe lost sight of with writing. She writes about establishing your writing space and about how writers can’t be flabby in their writing habits, just like athletes can’t be flabby and accomplish much. Everyone has a different routine, but routine is the key word.
On my ‘book a day’ calendar, today’s page is about a book written to get people moving. It’s about exercising fast and intensely, but for only ten minutes at a time. And I think, “gee, ten minutes-who doesn’t have ten minutes?” And that comes right back at me and my writing. It isn’t that I don’t write every single day, I mean you are reading this, right? It’s that I need to be working on my latest project every day.
I love the quote by Gene Fowler: “Writing is easy: All you do is sit staring at a blank piece of paper until the drops of blood form on your forehead.” Sometimes it does feel like this, but most of the time, I get so caught up in the characters that I don’t notice time going by. I like that feeling, like talking with a best friend when the realization dawns that the sun is setting and neither of you know where the day went.
When I write, I want to get caught in the story and it can be painful to let it go for the day. When I’m in that mode, the characters and the story seep in to my dreams at night and walk around me during the day. I do love the craft, and the best thing about being a writer is that each and every tiny little experience or encounter is food for the fodder.