Monday, February 8, 2010

Mentor Monday: Write EVERY Day?

“To be a successful writer, write every single day whether you feel like it or not.” Alex Haley

Saturday—The writer reads a quote that gives her an idea for a blog column. She types it into a new document in Word, planning to decide how she will approach that bit of advice. She likes the quote. Maybe she will really, truly try to take it to heart this week.

Sunday—The quote gnaws at the writer as she eats breakfast, does the dishes, tends to the dogs, runs errands, takes a walk. Later, she adds a bit of commentary to her blog entry. It’s not much, but it’s writing, isn’t it?

Monday—Out of milk. And bread. And coffee creamer. And…shoot, may as well make a grocery list. Where are those coupons that need clipping? And the laundry is piling up.
Mother calls. Sister calls. Daughter calls.
Now the calendar needs updating.
Have to get to the grocery store.

Tuesday—The writer remembers that she was going to try to write every day. Does a grocery list count? Does adding events to a calendar count? Does thinking about writing count?

Wednesday—Snowing. Good day to stay indoors and write. There’s a deadline looming after all. The writer spends 3 hours at the keyboard in the morning and a couple more in the afternoon. Even the dogs have cooperated by napping most of the day.

Thursday—Hair cut. A half hour into the city. An hour at the salon. A half hour back. No, wait! While she’s out, the writer decides she may as well pick up some office supplies. Dogs need walking. What to make for dinner?
Mother calls. Friend calls. Other daughter calls. Where did the day go?

Friday—Looks over Wednesday’s work. Tweaks. Tweaks some more. Adds to the manuscript. Takes the additions out. Does this exercise count as writing if you are back where you started?

“To be a successful writer, write every single day whether you feel like it or not.” Alex Haley

Saturday—The author reads the quote again. She still likes it. She types it up and tapes it to the top of her monitor where she can read it every day. Even before she starts playing a game of Spider Solitaire.


Sally said...

Alex Haley was a male. Different life.

Mur said...

Ooooh! So true!

I'm Jet . . . said...

Good point, Sally.

nulla dies sine linea -- Latin for 'never a day without a line'. A good quote for both writers and illustrators, no?