How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live. ~Henry David Thoreau

When you’re a writer, life sucks. It interrupts the flow of ideas, erodes your concentration and is an all around pain in the tuckus. I’ve lost track of how many phone calls, IMs or family members that have intruded on a scene I was writing and made hash of what I was going to say.

But life is also where we get our ideas. It recharges our creative juices and colors everything we write. It’s the fuel of our imagination and we need it to drag us away from our introspection and remind us that we, too, are human and not just some writing machine.

So how do you find the balance between life and clear thought?

If you’re me, you create a schedule. It’s imperfect and subject to frequent changes, interruptions and even ignored on occasion. But it’s there as a guideline and that’s what I need to keep me on track.

Today I have a shiny new schedule. It’s taped to the wall near my monitor and is so fresh it would get slapped in any nightclub. My sassy new schedule tells me I have 3-5pm to write, which is an issue because that’s generally when I get drowsy and have the urge to nap, so we’ll see how it goes. Tomorrow I may have another new schedule in it’s place that says 3-5 is nap time and midnight-2am is writing time. Or 8-10am. Or… Or… Or….  If the will is there, a time will be found.

And that’s really the beauty of life and writing. It can be arranged to work on your terms.


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