Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Making Space for Writing (III)

This final Making Space for Writing post concerns lifestyle changes--major changes one makes to carve out more time for writing. The timing of this post is ironic considering I haven't had time to blog in three days, let alone write. But, be that as it may, writers had some interesting suggestions regarding major changes that can make a difference.

Three comments in particular really spoke to my way of life which is based on the academic calendar:

  • Laura G. says, "I wish I knew the answer to this, cuz I sure don't get much writing done when classes are in session! Right now my head is too full of Anna Karenina to make space for anything of my own (which would, of course, pale by comparison)." Boy, can I relate to this comment. And, Laura really made me think. In the future, I think, semesters will be for editing, breaks for first drafts.
  • TadMack says something similar about the teaching life: "When I was working full time, I only wrote in the summer. After I published my first book, I scheduled myself an hour before I did any grading in the afternoon - that didn't really work, as after school I was usually on a school "roll," and swapping things didn't work either - because prepwork is never ending, and it would be the next morning before I had time to write. So, I wrote on the weekends, and scheduled "writer's weekends" for myself."
  • Amy S. agrees, writing, "I was a much more consistent writer over the summer. And my mind was open and reflective enough that I "noticed" stories, details, dialogue, etc."
Sam Riddleburger recommends becoming a stay-at-home dad. Oops! Too late for me, but this strategy may work for you if you have young kids. (Actually, now that I think about it...becoming a stay-at-home parent when kids are already in school might work even better!)

Kim and Michele, as I mentioned in an earlier post, recommend getting up at 4 in the morning. This counts as a major lifestyle change for me. And, it's one I've tried. Unfortunately, I'll hit the snooze until 6 unless I have a flight scheduled. No matter what.

Do you have any other major lifestyle changes to suggest?

Previous Making Space for Writing posts:

Writerly Tricks
What to Avoid
Don't miss Bruce Black's post on this topic at Wordswimmer. He quotes from "Author Talk, a collection of brief conversations with fifteen children's book writers, compiled and edited by Leonard Marcus." The quotes all have to do with making mental space for writing. Bruce's commentary on each quote is as fascinating at the quotes themselves are. Go! Go read it now.