Days like today are good writing days. School was cancelled because of the latest round of snow and ice, but my daughter’s daycare/preschool was open. It’s only a mile from my house and I have 4-wheel drive. So, off to school she went, and I sat in bed with Rusty and my laptop, writing for several hours.
I used to feel guilty about sending my daughter to child care while I was home, but I don’t anymore. Every credible person who offers writing advice says a person should write every day. Write something for any length of time, they say. When I saw Julia Alvarez, one of my favorites, speak at Kingswood Oxford last year, she emphasized this during the Q&A portion of her talk. Just do it. Put your butt in the chair and the pen to paper or hands to keyboard. Of course, she said it much more eloquently than that.
I get it. To do something well, you have to practice daily. The same is true for exercise, playing an instrument, or playing a sport. The problem is, of course, finding the time in a daily jam-packed schedule. I can’t get up any earlier than I do. Those of you who know me know I am not a morning person, and I have a full-time job that starts at 7:30 a.m. I can’t get up any earlier. I just can’t.
I do carry a writing notebook in my work bag. Some days, I brainstorm scenes or jot down pieces of dialogue when I have a free period, but many days, the notebook travels untouched to and from school. Serious writing happens only when I have hours to myself. Even then, several hours could result in only a few well-crafted pages.
Being a single parent, I never have hours to myself unless my daughter is asleep, at child care, or with her grandparents. Because of this, most of my writing gets done late at night or on days when my daughter is at child care and I am home (snow days, vacation days, sick days).
So, although I do want to get out of school before July, I want to thank Jack Frost for the snow day and my Toyota for the 4-wheel drive. Today’s writing time got me to page 20 of Book #2!
Now, how much longer until February break?