Monday, April 09, 2007

When Inspiration Hits...

I'm often asked how often I write? Do I set a block of time aside? Do I write a minimum of X hours a day?

The answers - it varies, no, and not usually.

I write when I can first and foremost, and that's different every day of the week. (I keep a rather chaotic schedule!)

I will make time when the inspiration hits though, which means sometimes things will go by the wayside while I write. I'm not the faster writer (and an even slower typer) so it can take me days to conjure up one 2-3 page scene! Of course, there's times when my pen flies and I discover I've done five pages in three hours. And that doesn't just depend on my inspiration - a lot has to do with interuption, too!

I try to work on my next book at least a little bit each day, although this one will positively NOT be coming out next spring! This one is getting proper treatment, even more than the first five.

Of course, if it's realeased under a new as-of-yet unnamed publisher, then next fall or later is fine with me!!


Mike Douglas said...

Putting inspiration and time available to write together can certainly be a bugaboo, and I've always been curious about how a busy novelist (that's a lot of writing, obviously) manages. I think shoving other things aside when the muse prods you makes sense, indeed it's about the only thing you can do. While I'm sure that doing this must seem to throw life out of balance at times, in reality it creates balance since so many of your activities are a direct result of your writing. The Muse is the boss – everything else follows.

In my own case, there doesn't seem to be any balance at all, it seems I can only produce anything worthwhile when I'm rushed for time. Although I sometimes write on weekends or other days off, most of my best inspiration usually comes when it's time for bed on work nights, or even worse, at 2:00 in the morning when I have to get up out of bed and stagger in to my computer room to write my ideas down before they evaporate. Last summer I took three weeks off from my job... three glorious weeks when I wasn't going anywhere, when I figured I'd get tons of writing done. As it turned out, I only managed one good piece of art during that whole time, and that was a graphic only, no writing. Sheesh! I came to the conclusion that spending a good part of my time laying around the patio barbecuing and soaking up the sun is not conducive to writing about “poetic malice” or whatever, that having all the time in the world is not necessarily a benefit, and that I lose the edge I need if I'm not exhausted, half upset, and fighting off a headache with one eye on the clock. Oh well, nobody's paying me to write, and it's clear that if I were a pro like you I'd have to find a way to change my mindset in order to get anything done.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Oh, but even the seasoned writer can struggle! And the writing is the balance. It cannot be forced, although I have techniques for circling my stagnation that produce results!
But you said something I need to remember myself - the muse is the boss, not all of the activities! Sometimes I get bogged down in that...