Sunday, January 11, 2015

[Link] 2 Rules for Making Time to Write

by K.M. Weiland

“‘It is only half an hour’—‘it is only an afternoon’—‘it is only an evening’—people say to me over and over again—but they don’t know that it is impossible to command oneself sometimes to any stipulated and set disposal of five minutes—or that the mere consciousness of an engagement will sometimes worry a whole day. These are the penalties paid for writing books. Whoever is devoted to an Art must be content to deliver himself wholly up to it, and find his recompense in it. I am grieved if you suspect me of not wanting to see you, but I can’t help it.” —Charles Dickens (writing to Maria Beadnell Winter, a childhood sweetheart, who wished to make an appointment with him)

How is it, I’d like to know, that Dickens can get away with saying something like that, and we can’t? Well, he is Dickens, I suppose. As a famous and beloved author, he could get away with being concise and even slightly snarky. Or could it be the other way around—that he was a famous and beloved author because he wrote just such notes?

Making Time to Write: The Greatest Struggle

One of the greatest struggles (yes, add another one to the list) of the writer’s life is making the time to write. For some reason or another, most non-writers have a hard time fathoming that writing must be approached with the same dedication, discipline, and time management of a regular job. Family members and friends are likely to give us hurt and dirty looks when we sequester ourselves behind closed doors for yet another evening/night/morning/week of typing away. Add to that unfortunate guilt our own tendencies to procrastinate, and our already overloaded schedules often seem to have no place at all for our writing.

But guess what? If you’re not writing, you’re not a writer.

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