Monday, January 07, 2008

Respect the writing time

We've all had this experience. A loved one calls during prime writing time and wants to ... just chat. About nothing really.

Those plaintive pleas - "You don't spend enough time with me" - can really break your heart. But how do you quantify "enough time"? And, more importantly, how do you stretch that quality time when you're basically working two full-time jobs? Can someone tell me? I'd really like to know.

A significant other keeps up a running commentary while you're desperately trying to figure out if your characters' dialogue works. Does the dialogue have enough emotion? Does it move the plot forward? Well, maybe you'd know - if your loved one wasn't wondering out loud where he'd left the television remote.

We've all been there. And we'll be there again. It's not that we don't love our families and friends who feel like family. We want to continue to share in their lives. We don't ever want to lose touch. But at the same time, we need to protect our writing time to the very best of our abilities.

It's all about the writing. Writing is a calling; not really a choice. If I could turn it off and on, trust me I would. In a heartbeat. And I'd help my husband find the remote. That's much easier than trying to craft The Breakout Novel on a deadline.

But I can't turn off the call to write, so I'll just sit over here and continue to train my loved ones to respect the writing time.



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