Just write?

I’ve heard the advice a thousand times, if you wish to finish a story or a book you should write a little every day. Just write.

Really?

I am not a professional writer so I have no deadlines. I can write what I want when I want to. However I cannot write when I don’t want to.

I thought when my youngest daughter headed to secondary school, leaving me free until 4.30 pm, I’d have plenty time. We are now four weeks in and I’ve never had so little time.

I’ve begun two stories, one of which I really like, but I’ve stalled on them because of my lack of time. So what to do?

Heed the advice and write little and often, or wait and when the time is right get writing?

The other day I decided I’d try the little and often method. I sat down and re read my story, cutting a little here and there before continuing where I left off. Time flew by and before I knew it I had to stop. As I drove off to do what I had to do I felt so frustrated. My character was running about in my head and the story continued to flow, but I had no way of writing it.

Since then I’ve thought about my character often. I haven’t the heart to go back and have to leave again. Instead my story just sits there, gathering cobwebs until my life gets less hectic. Whenever that may be.

I live in hope it will be in the next week or so, but who knows as I’ve not even had time to blog as I’d like. My characters will, for now, have to continue to live in my head and enjoy being allowed to do just as they please, unchecked.

Until I find the time, heedless of advice, to write as I please when I please.

photo credit: w12 – William Wordsworth via photopin (license)

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19 thoughts on “Just write?

    1. Thank you. I’m glad to hear that, sometimes I feel I’m only a writer in my own head because I can’t make myself write anytime.
      I’m bursting to sit down and get on with it, but short of divorce and adopting out my children I’m stuck for a while.
      I do keep saying to myself it will be worth it in the end.
      Thanks again for the encouragement.

  1. It isn’t that you can’t write every day. Obviously you’re a terrific writer with plenty to say. It’s that right now, in your life, writing isn’t your top priority. That’s probably the way it should be now.

    If someone asks what you do, you’re probably not ready to reply with a simple “I write”. But I think that day is coming for you. When it does, it WILL be your job. And just like any other job, you don’t get to say, “But I don’t have time for doctoring/farming/mothering/writing today…” And you won’t want to say that. Meanwhile you have a full-time demanding job and a part-time rewarding one. You’re so lucky!

    1. Thank you this made so much sense. I’d love to imagine a day when I do say ‘I’m a writer’ but it is exactly as you say, right now I can’t make it my top priority.
      I’m enjoying now but yes, I do look forward to that day which hopefully lies ahead in my future.

    1. Yes they are having a great time in my head, but I’m exploding wishing I could rehouse them.
      I love your advice/caution to be curious about them.

    1. Agreed. It just doesn’t seem to read right when I write something without my heart behind it. I can see in your writing how you are feeling your words.

  2. Your experience trying “little and often” feels so familiar to me: I’m like that with programming. The number of times I’ve left for work in the morning, followed out the door by Anne’s words, “Don’t forget to come home…” It’s so easy to become engrossed in something you enjoy and lose track of time despite your best intentions. I’ve got in the habit of leaving myself a short note, a bit like a todo list, to jog my memory when I come back to what I was doing. That way it’s easier to kick-start the thought processes. Another tip I’ve heard, although not tried, is to use a voice recorder to make verbal notes if you’re not in a position to jot them down.

    1. Ha my OH also ‘forgets’ to come home from work.
      I do like your idea of a voice recorder, but I’m not sure I’d actually go ahead and do it. I find sometimes I’ve a great idea but by the time I go about writing it I’ve forgotten what it was! Maybe my best writing is lost. 🙂

    1. Thanks. It’s such a pain that most places insist on unpublished stories so I can’t share them here. I’ll just have to get some published so I can get around that and share them.

  3. I was going to suggest a voice recorder too, and then I saw that alexforshaw had mentioned it already. I use the voice memos function on my Ipod from time to time (not for stories, though) and find it very handy. If you already happen to have an iPod, you could have a quick look and see what you think.

    1. No ipod I’m afraid only an iphone with no voice record as far as I know. Funny I never thought of voice recording and now after both of you suggest it I feel cheated that I haven’t got one.
      I am trying to get better at writing notes down in a notebook which I’ve totally forgotten by the time I re read them.

      1. I generally use a notebook for writing because if I use my iPod, I get funny looks on the train. (I mostly use the iPod for guitar-related purposes since I can’t read music.) It’s pretty easy to operate and possibly something worth thinking about.

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