For most of my adult life, I've wanted more time to write. It wasn't possible, most of the time -- I had a demanding job and other needs, like, say, preparing and eating food, and sleeping. I often rued the fact that I'm an 8-hour-of-sleep-a-night person, and wished I could get by on 5 hours. (I can't. I can't even walk in a straight line on less than 6, so there was no way I'd write on 5 hours of sleep or less). My mental energy and capacity was low, too, and though I did write, it never seemed like enough, and I never felt like I had the acres of time I needed to devote to my projects. I'd get 80% of the way through a novel draft, or complete a second, but not a third, play revision. Editing and revising takes, if anything, more stamina and focus than writing. When I only had 45 minutes or so a week, it often seemed easier just to write a blog post or an article, something that had a pay-off (often literally).
My life has changed radically in the last six weeks. While I am still quite busy and still have a myriad of demands pulling me one way or another (demands that I do not always meet, which is a nice way of saying, "Sorry, I owe you a phone call, Mel!"), my time has opened up more. I have vast swaths of days in which to work; it's up to me to figure out when to do so.
This has reminded me of the importance of scheduling writing time. I do not blow off appointments, even appointments that I really do not want to keep. I show up. Therefore, it's worthwhile to schedule myself writing time. I have most Tuesdays and Thursdays free (not this week, alas, a loss I'm already keening over) so I've decided that I should get up, eat breakfast, toodle around online for awhile, and then write. An hour, maybe two. Just write. Even when I don't want to. And it's on my calendar, on my iPhone, and in my appointment book.
I read a great quote from the incredibly prolifiic Anne Tyler on twitter the other day: "If I waited until I felt like writing, I'd never write at all." If she can feel that way, so can I. So can you, for that matter. She produces, clearly, because she makes herself write when she doesn't feel like it. So can I. So can you.