I’ve been writing my middle-grade novel for about a year and a half, on and off at first. But after attending the SCBWI national conference in Los Angeles last year, I left with a commitment to do better.
The difficulty is, when?
The days are filled with the work, the evenings with family. The fiance of a friend of mine wrote and sold a novel — it was published last year — in the afternoons because she had lots of free time during her regular job. I envied having that kind of time (although I would feel guilty), so I vowed to wake up early and write in the mornings. Make the time, is what you always hear, so I was going to make the time.
It went well for the first month, but then I was tired all the time, and started pressing the snooze button more and more.
In November, my husband and I moved to a different state, and during the last few months, we’ve moved four times to temporary places until we finally bought our house. During that time, my early morning writing sessions were pretty much dissolved. I didn’t feel good about my lack of writing, but I was tired and figured I disserved a break.
Then a few weeks ago, I was looking at some old emails and saw the Writer’s Digest enewsletter promoting an interview with Laurell K. Hamilton. My cousin introduced me to Hamilton’s books a while ago, so I clicked the link and read. Here’s an excerpt:
“I had half of my first book done, and my first husband said, ‘Finish your book.’ I had been getting up at 5 a.m. and writing in the morning.” (Click here for the full interview.)
Commitment! I thought. That’s it. It depends on what you want and when you want it. To finish your book, you have to write, you have to make the time to work on it. And writing for 20 minutes every couple of weeks isn’t writing a book. If that’s what Laurell K. Hamilton had to do, that’s what I have to do — what we have to do. (By the way, if you haven’t heard of Hamilton, click here for her website.)
If I want to finish my novel, I have to be committed and I have to make the time. So, after reading that interview, I decided to get back to getting up at 6 a.m. Or, I should say, I’m back to trying to get up at 6. Most mornings I hit snooze until 7 then drag myself up. My husband gets up at 8, so that doesn’t give me a lot of time, but I do what I can and feel good that I’ve done something. But is it enough?
It’s hard to get out of a warm bed in the morning, even as much as I desire to finish and feel the need to write. But, I know I can do better. I know I have to do better. So, I’m going to start setting my alarm for 5, with the hope that I will get up at 6. And I going to be committed to this.
Anyone care to join me? I can call you and wake you up if you want.