Sunday, January 17, 2010

Making Writing Time

As most writers will tell you, being a writer is more about rewriting than writing and I find that the rewriting often takes exponentially longer than the initial writing of the first draft.

In December I spent some 20 hours working on a 2500 word story which I submitted to Free Fall Magazine's annual prose contest. Since submitting it I have, of course, found there is still a minor plot hole. At which point one can only throw up ones hands and say, "Oh well, it's off already," and begin to think about how you're going to fix that little problem for next time.

So how does one make the time to get the massive amount of drafts done having something ready to send out and when do you decide that enough is enough and it's ready to send out?

Workspace, dedication, and a sheer love of what you do. I find it hard to write when there are dishes, laundry and a myriad of other things calling me... and with three kids the household chores, dishes, laundry are never ending (even though they help with it), not to forget those extracurricular activities they all want to take part in. So, I try and keep my workspace somewhat uncluttered and what I refer to as my studio is off limits for the kids to bring stuff into.

Scheduling writing time is also important... for those who have trouble making time for stuff. I also multitask. If I have to take one of the kids somewhere and wait, I take a notebook and draw or write. I'm lucky in some ways... writing is as much a part of my soul as breathing so it something I'm constantly engaged in whenever there is a spare minute during the day either in physically putting words down or working out some difficulty in phrasing or plot as I walk the dog.

The other thing I do is go to Cafe's to write. It gives me the opportunity to observe people, be social if I choose (or at least feel social) and percolates my imagination... I wonder why that person is....


  1. Hi Leonie, nice to read you!! After reading your post, i realize i am no writer (yet), i don't have what you mention. I am just a blogger :) and i do find for me, it involves a great amount of reading, to actually come up with a reasonable post, or to improve my writing. Sooo i only read a little bit here, because i've been behind my computer long enough tonight, but i will be back! Thanks

  2. Hi Jozien, don't let my post discourage you in your writing. Many people just write because it's something they enjoy doing for themselves. I enjoy reading your blog and the clarity with which you explore this country which has hold of my heart. You're writing does justice to the feeling I have for this vast, wild place in which we live :) Write on!