In all the books I’ve ever read about writing, real writers establish a regular writing time and place. And during this time, in this place, they write. They don’t read email, organize files, research, or stare at a blank screen. They write.
I consider myself a real writer. I have a regular time and place to write. Mornings work best for me, usually after my quiet time and first cup of coffee. I’ve tried to write upon awakening, but that venture is entirely too ambitious. Thinking first thing in the morning gives me a headache. If you knew me or ever saw me first thing in the morning, you would know exactly what I’m talking about. You would feel sorry for me. Marsha in the morning is not a pretty sight. But give me an hour of silence and coffee, and viola, I’m ready to sit down at my computer.
Here in my little family room, sun rising, dogs snoozing, coffee reheated, I write. Whether good or lousy writing, for the next few hours, thoughts become words on a computer screen. During this time, I will take a break to watch the Dog Whisperer, grab a snack or a cup of tea, throw in a load of laundry, then return to writing. My dishes and dusting, husband, children, and dogs are neglected, but I have accomplished something great. I said it. Whatever it is, I said it.
Now to confess. It doesn’t always happen that way. Some mornings, migraine-headache pain suffocates my creativity. Some mornings, I have other obligations like appointments and my paying job. Then there is the unexpected minor emergency: a family crisis, an unplanned doctor appointment, someone at the door, the dryer buzzes mid thought, fleas. One little thing after another knocks my good intentions into the afternoon or the next day.
So, just like you, I don’t always stick to my schedule. Or maybe you do stick to your schedule. Maybe you are a real writer. Maybe I just call myself a real writer but in all honesty and in spite of writing 66,000+ words/five drafts/seven years intergrating general life into my writing life, I’ve gotta admit that I’m really just a wannabe.