Monday, July 9, 2012

The Heat is On

Within the oppressive heat around the nation the Northwest, where I reside, was an island of coolness. Yet, the heat was still on in many other ways.

The writing life is under constant barrage from so many directions that it is a wonder that any author finds time to finish anything. Summer is the season of distractions. If the weather is not beating you down, then it is begging you to get outside and play. You are a writer, you tell yourself. One of the perks of being a writer is setting your own hours and being able to enjoy a beautiful summer day. Right? RIGHT?! PLEASE?

Every successful author I have ever read about, or had the good fortune to talk to, will tell you that daily discipline is crucial. The 10,000 hours of practice I cited in an earlier blog need to be fairly contiguous. Not random, spread over 20 years. This means on a beautiful summer day you still need to be writing.

But, let’s be reasonable about it. Write five pages, of anything, even the same sentence over and over. Do that early in the morning. Get it done, NOW. Then, go out and play.

Because there is another important aspect to being a writer and that is keeping your brain sharp. To do that requires good health and exercise. You won’t get that sitting in front of a monitor eating junk food. So, write and then play.

After all, the other aspect of being a writer is for most of us the pay is such that your entertainment needs to be cheap. Nothing is cheaper than a nice summer day.

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