Friday Five-O: How can I maintain my momentum as a writer?

How can I maintain my momentum as a writer while juggling bustling social plans, a house full of family, and my job?

-- Mama Needs a Mai Tai



Mamacita!

Glad you called. I’ve been thinking the same thing: How the HELL am I going to write my book, coach a bunch of ungrateful teenagers softball, keep up the integrity of my work as an independent editor, father kid #2, be a husband, do the shopping and my own laundry because beloved wife draws the line at my work-out clothes...you get the picture.

So you, and me, we have an absolute ton of crap to do. But if you think about it, writing is among the things that have to get done. Right? I mean, do I sense any guilt preventing you you from putting it on the list? Because that’s a different problem, although it’s related to this one.

It’s related because if you are struggling to justify the importance of your writing, you won’t be able to take full advantage of my solution (yes, I will be offering a solution, we are at word no.184, the solution comes at word no. 374). If you are listening to negative value judgments about writing, about being a writer, about being a good enough writer, about why you’re not making widgets or which parent you’ve disappointed...you’re gonna miss the solution!

As Keith Richards said (you can’t always quote Blaise Cendrars), “We’ve been trained from babyhood to have three square meals a day, the full factory-industrial revolution of how you’re supposed to eat. Before then it was never like that. When the hooter goes, you eat.” P.S. ‘hooter’ is British slang for nose.

The same can be said about work: why do we stick to working 9-5, Monday through Friday? Why don’t we write from 9p-2a, sleep for four hours, wake up and deal with the kids and all of the details, then go back to sleep for four more hours? Because we have a boss? Get a new boss!

I’m kidding. Although it worked for me. You can apply the flexible approach to time management and create whatever schedule works for you, fueling this flexibility with respect for your writing.

So, here’s the solution: Sometimes say, “No.”


MORAL: You aren’t a writer because you are published. You are a writer because you make time to write, and because you write your heart out.

Over to you,

Stuart

About the Author See other articles by Stuart Horwitz
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The Writing Life

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