Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Time vs. commitment

Awhile back (on May 25th, actually), Shirley Jump blogged over at Romancing the Blog about time management vs. setting priorities. She made the point that finding time to write isn't so much as finding time as making writing a priorty. If it's a priority, then you'll find the time. If it's not, you won't, and all the time management tricks in the world won't make a bit of difference.

Amen, sister.

Yet I also appreciate that for unpublished writers, it's difficult to explain to non-writers why producing what seems like nothing is so important. Once you sell, people are a little more impressed because hey, you get money! But until that day? Not easy.

But nobody expects a beginning sewer to turn out a lined, fitted suit with perfect button holes for a first effort. They appreciate it's going to take time to learn the techniques, what fabric works best with what sort of pattern, etc. etc. It's like that with writing, too.

Maybe unpublished writers should say, "I'm learning how to write a novel" when somebody asks what they did on the weekend.

On the other hand, I suspect the response would still be, "Oh, I'd like to do that, too, if only I had the time!"


Kimber Chin said...

Wasn't it Woody Allen who said 'Eighty percent of success is showing up' ?

Whenever I get a case of the lazies about the writing, I remember what you often say...

'Butt in seat'

I think THAT is the biggest determinant of success in writing.

Margaret Moore said...

I'll confess that there are many days I, too, would like to have written without, you know, actually doing the writing. Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way. But then, when I'm finished, I can say I did it. Just me. No committee, no department, no group. Just me.
Frankly, that's one of the things I like best about my job.

Of course, there may be some editorial input when I first sell the project, and later comes editors, artist, art department, sales force, digital marketing... But that's later. Until I submit my finished manuscript, it's pretty much just me and my ideas, and that's the way I like it.