A Time for Every Word

Mornings are my writing time, my sacred time. It has to be that way.

I’ve  read about famous authors to learn what makes them “tic,” and have come away with the notion that all writers need to WRITE and write regularly — like clockwork — same bat time, same bat channel. They work at their craft and hone it. You can see it in the Harry Potter books because J. K. Rowling is much better at the end of the series than she was in book one.

So, I decided to write in the morning. I’m strongest in the morning, especially with a couple cups of coffee, while I balance my laptop on my lap and write away. Some days the writing flows like chocolate over vanilla ice cream, other days it’s like digging potatoes out of a drought stricken plain. But I write. Everyday. Without fail. Because writing is a process — right?

It took time to learn this lesson. Being from the “old” school, (a student before computers were born) I had to wean myself away from pencil and pen before I could easily sit before a keyboard and write. To me, something written on the screen is something different when it appears on paper. That’s interesting to me. It’s like my writing doesn’t really take shape  unless it appears on an 8-1/2 x 11 sheet.

When I write, it’s for at least a couple of hours; sometimes the television is on; sometimes my husband is in the room asking me husband questions, and always my loyal pal, Ernie the Pug, is resting beside me. (Usually he’s snoring, but he, nonetheless, keeps me company.) Distractions rarely bother me.

Like boot camp, college made me tough. I went to the university  as an adult with small children, and I usually I was doing at least three things at a time most of the time. For example, I’d read an assignment, hold my little girls and watch television with them simultaneously. (Again, a learned behavior–nothing like this comes naturally!) It must have worked, though, because four years later I graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BA in English with a writing concentration. One of my proudest moments. (Yes class — that was a fragment — but I can get away with it — I’ve earned the right because I’m a professional writer!)

So, getting back to writing —

All of this boils down to writing being a process. From pencil and paper to computer keyboard. From setting a designated time to write to actually being faithful to the commitment. From letting distractions get me off the tract to being oblivious. From having my feelings crushed from criticism to seeking it out. From thinking I was done after two tries to knowing that I’m not ever really done — there’s just a deadline to meet. Yes, it’s all a process. So if you’re a writer — good for you! If you’re not there yet, just know “one and done” never applies to good writing.

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