Have you ever been intimidated by another writer? Not their presence or their writing, but their commitment to the craft? It happened to me yesterday.
I picked up the last book in a series – The Books of Beginning – titled The Black Reckoning by John Stephens at the library. I like to read the author bio in the back of books to see what else they have written and get to know them a little. This ritual proved crushing.
I wish I never picked up his book nor turned to the back flap.
I was shocked by what I read.
On the dust jacket, it mentioned, casually, that John Stephens woke up at 4AM to write the Emerald Atlas (the first book in this series) before leaving for work each day. Wait. What?
Imagine with me for a second if you could do this. Take that, multiply by seven, add another five hours for a writing night or long afternoon and that’s twenty hours of writing each week. How much could you write? How fast could you finish?
My first thought is that 4AM is impossible. I have two children that wake up through the night. But what if I could make it work for a week? A month? That would give me eighty hours of writing time.
I know this is probably not sustainable, but it makes me think. How dedicated am I to my books, blog, or any other area of my life? I want the easy path but I know I must choose the most difficult one at times.
How much time do you dedicate to writing? Is it enough? If you need more time, what could you cut out of your life to recapture the lost time?
13 thoughts on “How Committed Are You To Your Book?”
Respect to the man, but no way. I’m not even close to being that committed. For me that sounds like a bit of a chore, and if there’s anything that’ll crush those creative thoughts and turn them into mush, it’s making writing a chore. I’ll stick to my normal schedule thanks… if you can call it that.
Is the book any good BTW?
Gareth, I know. I would feel too drained. If I did not have a full time job that would be one thing but I have that and I’d like to see my family too.
It’s a kids book, so if you like YA fantasy I’d start with the Emerald Atlas, the first book. I’ve read a few heavy books lately and needed something light. The Martian has been one of my favorite reads this year. Also the book has a great story about trying something and having it take off. Really inspiring.
What books have you read this year?
On Wed, Sep 16, 2015 at 6:29 AM, Part-Time Novel wrote:
I’ve read a few, but by far the stand-out for me was Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann. A giant of a book so well written it almost hurts. Even better, I found it on a plane.
Writers who get up early always get credit for being more dedicated. I think it’s because most people (me included) don’t like to rise super early. Other writers use their lunch time, their train/ bus commute, or stay up late. I wish bio writers would come up with something more interesting to say about an author than the writer is an extreme morning person. Morning rant complete. : )
No, I never have or give enough time to writing.
Ha! Jeff, your ranting is always welcome! Morning writers do seem like Hercules, don’t they? I guess I am nothing if I write from 10:30pm-1am, right? Or can I call myself a morning writer too?
How have you been? I believe you were going to launch a novella the last time we talked but I’ve not seen a newsletter in a while. Which brings up a good point. Are you still sending those out? If so, I think I dropped off the list a few months ago. How can I get back on?
Hope you are well my friend.
On Wed, Sep 16, 2015 at 11:11 AM, Part-Time Novel wrote:
I was getting up at 4am for a while and pounding anywhere from a paragraph to a page. I did that for a couple of days, but the siren call of my pillow was too strong. With a full time job, two kids and a wife as well, that early morning alone time is golden. I need to start doing it again.
I think consistency is my biggest struggle as well. Somehow I need to find balance between my job, wife and three (soon to be four) kids, and my joy of words. My only advice is to try to schedule time in advance and make sure you use it to write and nothing else. I write anytime from 1030pm-1am some days or from 6-730am. It just depends. For me its a constant juggle to figure out what works. That is the only consistency. That and a very patient wife :).
On Wed, Sep 16, 2015 at 12:00 PM, Part-Time Novel wrote:
Part of my new routine is getting up at 4 AM. That is the only time I can get writing done without interruptions. My three kids wake up a bit later now that they are older so I get about two hours in before morning chaos commences. The downside to this is that my battery is usually flat by 10 PM.
So you have three kids and get up at 4 AM to write? What can’t you do :).
How long do you normally write for?
I have three kids and, before the summer began, I woke up at 5am to write. I had a night job during the last couple of months that made it difficult, but now that we are all settling back into our old routine, I am sliding into the early mornings again. It is my most productive part of the day.
Routines get trashed too often. I love mine. My body knows what to expect and my mind too. I hope to get back to a morning routine again but as I cannot count on a consistent night of sleep it’s tough. For now, the best for me to write is while I am awake.
My middle daughter (who is three) did say to me this morning – daddy I got up and went potty and back to bed all by myself last night. That was exciting.
Hope you have success with the new writing schedule.
At the end of the day, it’s whatever works!
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