A while back, I did a guest post on Elizabeth Flora Ross’s blog about defending your writing time.
I’m militant on the topic. I truly believe that if you want time to write, you have to build a fence around it, possibly with razor wire, and defend it at all costs. No ifs, ands or buts. Otherwise the time will get eaten away in nibbles and bites by everything else in your life.
Over time, it gets easier. Everyone else in your life becomes accustomed to you being unavailable at certain times. And, most importantly, it becomes a habit to sit and write. Defending the time means defending the habit.
In the last year, I’ve gotten really good at this. I drafted The Body Gift in half the time it took me to write Obsidian, plus it’s a much tighter draft. I also wrote Petals and Thorns on an efficient schedule. I’ve been working on revising and tightening The Body Gift and got a good chunk into a new novella.
Then I went on vacation.
I thought I might work on the book some, on long rainy Oregon coast days at the B&B. But my Jeffe Sunshine Magic (TM) kicked into effect and we had gorgeous weather. I didn’t sweat it. I knew I needed to relax, refresh and refill the well after my big push to finish The Body Gift. Vacation can be from all my jobs, I decided.
And so it was.
When I came back, however, relaxed, refreshed, ready to get back to work, I found my fence was in a shambles. Like Little Boy Blue, I’d allowed the cows into the meadow and the sheep into the corn. It’s taken me all week to get back into the habit.
Kerry’s book, Swimming North, is about dragons and dragon-slaying. She often draws a parallel between her day job and slaying dragons. But, last night, she agreed that cows were in her meadow, too.
Screw the dragons – it’s the freaking cows that are our problem!
“Mad cows. Complacent cows,” she says, “all of them are trouble.”
Sometimes you have to look closer to home, for the simple solution.
If you need me, I’ll be out building fences.