A Sunday update, as I'll probably be away on Monday.
Today I set aside time specifically to write. Now, this isn't an unusual thing. With one full book on submission and a couple of short stories out there, I obviously find the occasional moment to scribble away.
Today was different purely because of the amount of time. In fact, the whole day was mine.
I work from home as a writer, but on company time I rarely turn to my manuscripts. Something about mixing the mindsets doesn't work for me. Plus ... y'know ... I'm not supposed to do it.
But today was a writing day. It's been pretty good - a decent 6000 words added to the book. That's more than, ooh, the last few weeks combined. Yup. I've been slacking off big time. With work picking up and some other life changes, I've gone through plenty of days without writing at all.
Is that a problem? I'm not working on time constraints at the moment. There's no publisher waiting, cigar in hand, for my book. Should I rush?
Writers write ... but every day?
There are certainly plenty of opinions on this. I've heard Philip Pullman talk nice and bluntly about writing. If you want to be a writer, then write. Builders build. Teachers teach. Carpenters probably carp. Writers write. They don't mope around, complaining about their muse, and they don't procrastinate on the Internet.
I think, in truth, there's an obvious divide; full time writers, and then those of us for whom it's not a day job. If being an author is my full time job, and I rely on it for income, then yes, I should write. It's an art - sure. No one's pretending it's not. But if it's my business and my life, it needs commitment. If, like me, you're writing 'in the cracks' of your life, with a full job to keep up, then no, I don't think everyday is unnecessary.
Progress is necessary. Getting from A to B, adding to the pages, and telling the story. We all have our own goals and targets. For now, though, I'm happy pottering along, and not feeling bad if a few days go by without some literary inspiration striking.
I would love to keep up a good 5000 a day. The book'd be finished in a month! Imagine!
But where would my life be? It's living that keeps me writing; seeing and loving and exploring the world, and using all of that to make stories. Locked in a room all day every day would make me pretty odd. I'd probably end up a post-modernist. Golly.
Living, working, writing. The balance is there, and we all have to find it.
And I'll keep you posted on the word count for the rest of the week.