I've heard all about this mystical "writing schedule." In fact, I hear all the time about writers who have one-- they wake up every day at 5 am and write until 7. Or they sit down and don't get up until they've written 1,000 words. Or they go to writers colonies and hammer out entire books in the span of a month.
I envy those writers. I really do. I wish I could have such discipline. But I don't. Because the thing is, the thing that no one ever wants to hear, is that I don't have a writing schedule. What I do is write whenever I can and as much as I can. Simple as that.
My life is filled with little kids running underfoot, and carpools, and figuring out what to put on the table for dinner. (Wow, I sound really glamorous, don't I!?) I try to make the most of those times in between. The few hours I have between dropping my son off and nursery school and pick up. Whatever precious time I get if and when the kids nap. A quiet evening here or there when the kids are in bed and my husband's stuck at work.
I wrote my entire first novel in the space in between. When I got home from work early, when I had time on weekends, on lunch breaks. I'd edit while riding the subway downtown, on the bus crosstown, on the Long Island Rail Road on trips to see my family. And it worked. Sure, it took longer than if I'd been writing every day until I hit the 1,000 word mark, but that wasn't my life. So I fit the writing into the life I had then. And I still do the same-- I fit the writing into the life I've got now.
EB White said "A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper."
Words to live by.
I’m the author of SCOT ON THE ROCKS and JACK WITH A TWIST. My third novel, RECIPE FOR A HAPPY LIFE, will be published by St. Martin's on July 2, 2013. My work’s also appeared in the New York Post and Publisher’s Weekly. You can find me at brendajanowitz.com or on Twitter at @BrendaJanowitz.