Monday, February 26, 2007

Mum's the Word

Posted by Lisa

I'm so proud of myself, I bit my tongue.

A dear friend has decided to try her hand at this crazy writing thing. She shared with me her intricate plot line, her well thought out characters, the frustration she faces in trying to carve out writing time in her busy day. She asked me for advice; she knows I await news from my agent - I feel I have learned maybe a thing or two by now. I surprised myself with the number of suggestions I put forth. We talked about writing for well over an hour, but when the questions became personal, regarding my current project, my baby, my daily inspiration, I stopped talking. I had nothing to say. I protected my writing, my story, and myself.

Last Tuesday I loved reading Amy's entry, The Power of No. Amy shared her commitment to cherish her writing time, protecting it as she would a child. When I read this I renewed my own determination to manage my writing time. This week, I protected more than my writing time. I protected that fragile part of me that is trying to put a story together. Sharing my plot, summarizing my characters' motivations, that would have jeopordized ideas that are still forming. That would be a very bad thing.

In a seminar at Buttonwood Books a few weeks back, Jamie Cat Callan suggested we withhold from checking our e-mail or talking to a friend in the first few hours after we wake up. She advises to let our desire to communicate boil over, so we are itching to write, can't wait to write. This is a proactive way to nuture the writer within. Simple steps to manage my own literary life will make my writing time productive.

As far as my work-in-progress goes, Mum's the word.


Melissa Amateis said...

I definitely protected my writing time this weekend. Thankfully, hubby and the kids helped me keep the house clean and I decided that there wasn't enough money in my checking account to justify a shopping spree at the mall, so I stayed home both Saturday and Sunday with my laptop. It was divine. :-)

ORION said...

This is a really good post. There was an interesting article in poets and writers magazine about truman capote and the reason he didn't finish his last book was that he talked about it too much. I believe you CAN talk about your book ideas too much and the energy dissipates.
I notice newer writers are always talking about their projects and published authors seldom do.

Patry Francis said...

Email can easily absorb half the day, which is fine--if it's the second half (after writing!). I like the idea of waiting at least a couple of hours before I even peek at it.