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Adventures in Writing, Reading & Book Culture

When the Writing is Good … follow it with another day!he

I’ve written about the difficulties of finding time to write day in and day out. Jobs, family, pets, books to read, and … what else? … oh, yes! … wife and friends. The priority list can be long.

Or it needs to be short.

The question is, How serious are you about your writing career? Hours in the day can be shaved; you can learn to write a AT LEAST a few paragraphs every day. Remember, “one page per day and I’ll have 7/8 of a book in a year.” That’s the pattern, that’s the goal, that’s the priority that must top the list. And you’ll still have time for everyone else in your life. Reading good books, too!

Today I had my 3rd writing day in a row. Saturday & Sunday morning, and Monday afternoon (stretching into early evening). That’s a total of sixteen hours or so. Today I was hot because yesterday I took a few afternoon hours to set myself up for today’s writing. When I got home from teaching two classes (money!), I had a snack and then sat down.

Did the blank screen frighten me? NO! I didn’t have a blank screen because I had a place where I had left off, and I had notes and story chunks to bring me further. This is all part of the preparation and continuance of deep thinking about your project. If you never let it go (for long), then it’s always going to be with you … and, with a project that can take two years or more, I need to live with my characters, the places in which they live and move, the ideas and emotions they encounter.

When writing is good, try to follow it up with more writing. The next day; the next afternoon; or the next evening. Just a few paragraphs on a scrap of paper while on the train can be a great encouragement for that upcoming day where you have a whole block of HOURS to write.

I’ve quoted her before, and here is an especially good time to do that again: Isak Dinesen – “I write every day, with neither hope nor despair.”


What Beauty is my newest novel, a story of art, obsession and ego. Read an excerpt here. It’s available as an ebook, too.

The Village Wit (2010) is a humorous and sometimes dark odyssey through village life, love’s fall, sexual politics, and that place where memory and modern love intersect. Read an excerpt here. This book is also available as an ebook.

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