At my weekly writing group meeting last night, one of my group members said something that floored me: that I inspired her to be more disciplined.
Huh? Me? I do SO not think of myself as being disciplined. Most of the time I feel like a pinball ricocheting from one bouncy object to the next, hoping to avoid a concussion.
But it made me think about the writing life, and what it takes to pursue it. Most fiction writers, I’d venture to guess, cannot afford to do so full-time. So in order to commit their hearts 100 percent to writing when they can physically only give it 10 percent of their time, well, I guess it takes discipline. Dogged determination. And maybe a bit of self-delusion.
Here’s my schedule. It varies a little during the week, but not much. I leave for the day job at 7:15 a.m. and get home from the day job at 5:15 p.m. I have dinner. I feed my dogs. Unless I’m on a hard deadline for book revisions or edits, I spend a couple of hours in the care and company of my octogenarian mom, who stays alone all day. About 8:30 p.m. I turn on the computer, check e-mail, respond to what I must, do a blog for the next day. From 9-11 p.m., I write. From 11-midnight, I read. From midnight to 6 a.m. I sleep. Then I do it all over again.
Hmph. Sounds pretty disciplined. All those pesky errands and household stuff get done on the weekend.
I don’t have kids or a spouse to worry about. My friendships have probably suffered. But there it is. It’s discipline and, in a way, it’s bondage.
So, what’s your B&D routine? As always, comment for a chance to win this week’s giveaway: the 2010 Writers Market, with a one-year subscription to writersmarket.com. An extra entry per comment for followers!