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Extracurriculars for the busy writer

Cheryl's Musings: Extracurriculars for the busy writer

Cheryl's Musings

How to Thrive on the Writer's Road


Extracurriculars for the busy writer

I love Heather Sellers' writing books, Page after Page and Chapter after Chapter. They're wonderful motivators for the writer who is having trouble making time to write.

That said, I have to disagree with her on one point: writers DO need non-writing activities in their lives.

She makes the excellent point that all the "extras" in our lives--choir, soccer club, PTA mom, volunteer work, whatever--can easily squeeze writing out of our lives. If we don't keep writing a Priority (capital intended) then Everything Else will take precedence. There are so many demands on the modern writer's time that we have to guard it like the precious commodity it is. Don't let your hours be frittered away by good things because, if you do, writing tends not to happen.

But--I've been through the ups and downs of finding time to write and, even though I'm just as busy, I'm past that point in my writing life when I have to consciously carve out time for writing. The truth is, if I don't write these days, I'm cranky, depressed, and unhappy. I go through writing withdrawal. So--I write. I've crossed that particular writer's hurdle, and maybe Sellers is addressing people who haven't.

See, the opposite extreme--spending time ONLY on writing--isn't a good idea, either. The real world is where we meet people, observe places and behaviors and mannerisms, and generally re-stock our minds with the images we need to write.

If you're at the place where you feel guilty taking your 20 minutes (or half hour or three hours) for writing, then keep hacking things out of your schedule. Keep practicing this excellent craft of writing until it earns a constant place in your life. But if you're like me, with a busy schedule and never quite enough time to write, but only because there aren't enough hours in the day to write, then don't quit every great activity. A few are good for the writer's soul!

:) Cheryl

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