Friday 26 April 2013

Dear Muse, could you get back to me on that?

I posted two days ago on making time to write. Even if you stare at your empty screen for half an hour, that's fine, so long as you don't get up and leave to go do your laundry or dishes or hair instead.

The thing is, if you want to write, you must make writing your priority. If there's a moment in your day where you can choose to sit idly in front of the telly watching whatever happens to be on (without even being that interested), skip it, get to your laptop and start writing.

Even if there is a fully booked day full of chores and appointments and work, the best thing you can do for your own discipline is set aside at least about an hour each day to write and to focus on nothing but writing. It's about creating a routine, which you can then reshape into dedicating even more time to writing as soon as the bug bit you or the writing fever is spiking. It's all true.

I've decided that this is brilliant advice, however, I do have my own set of priorities. I am a translator and I'm currently blessed with a few deadlines and only so many hours in the day in which I can actually get to work. Mornings, middays and evenings are my own, provided that my son is asleep and sleeps for a while. Meaning, the mornings are less than reliable, the middays are dependent on the postman ringing or not ringing the doorbell and the evenings are filled with tiredness that just has to wait until I can finally go to bed.

I'll get to the point, shall I? You see, I do have my priorities in order. I know when I can afford to make time to write or at least jot down a few story ideas that came to me out of nowhere or as a cause-and-effect kind of thing. But why does something always hit me when I'm about to start work? Just now I had my translation document open, my book on my lap, ruler in place and boom! I just quickly need to type a few lines into my digital notebook so that I won't forget what might turn into a good story idea and a future bestseller that could otherwise have sloshed downwards into the quicksand of my brain and never be written.

So, yes, do as the authors tell you. Make time in accordance with your priorities. If you want to put your children to bed first, that's fine, but then you could perhaps cut your shower time in half, or switch off the telly when there's nothing on anyway. If you need to work, like me, always keep a notebook by your side in case your Muse thwacks you upside the head with an idea you're bound to forget without jotting it down. And as soon as your schedule of priorities allows it, get behind that computer and write!

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