Wednesday, November 9, 2011

NaNoWriMo #9: Finding Time to Write


I’m honored to have Tananarive Due here for today’s writing tip. Tananarive is the very model of a professional writer: she’s written or co-authored thirteen books, from the ABA-award winning The Living Blood and her African immortals series (of which My Soul to Take is the latest), to mysteries with actor Blair Underwood, to non-fiction and screenplays. And her writing is consistently superb, genre-stretching, rich. She’s worked as a journalist and is now a professor at Spelman College. Tananarive has a blog on writing you can follow here, and you can find news on her releases and upcoming events here.

 “Too often, writers believe that they can only work if they have a huge block of writing time carved out of the day, preferably in a cabin or on a beach.  While it would be great if all writers could work at writers' retreats, most of us are juggling our writing, our day jobs and our loved ones.  (Spouses may be understanding, but children have a harder time thriving under a faraway gaze.)
        When I wrote full-time, I had the luxury of four-hour blocks for nothing but writing.  But now that I'm teaching full-time at Spelman College, I'm having to teach myself how to write in the cracks again.  Would I prefer to have an hour or two uninterrupted?  Sure, but sometimes thirty minutes--or even fifteen--will do.  Sometimes I have to write on my laptop instead of in my office, shutting away the television noise. 
        I was trained as a journalist, so I don't believe in pampering one's Muse.  Yes, promise her breaks and a treat, but she has to show up on a schedule just like the rest of us. 
        Too often, we are lying when we say we don't have the time to write.  It may not be the "perfect" time, but any time will do.”

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