Followed a link to a link to a link to this piece in the L.A. Times, title “The truth about writers.” In it, J. Robert Lennon exposes the modern writer’s most secretist secrety secret:
We don’t spend much time writing.
It sounds like absolute scandal, but speaking from my own experience: it’s true. Though I’m not yet at the point in my life where I feel confident saying, “I’m a writer!” (mostly what I say is, “I write”) I will admit that I, and other writers that I know, don’t spend hours a day chugging along on their writing (unless it’s for Thesis, and invariably we all hit a point where we say, “EFF THIS,” and throw up our hands and head out to find something else to occupy our time.)
Right now I tend to write in chunks of time, taking a long block of hours once or twice a week to hammer away at Thesis, rather than writing a little every day. Oh, I know, I know, I’m violating the cardinal rule of Being A Real Writer, but whatever. Someday I will have the time/discipline to devote my morning to my craft a la J. Robert Lennon, but in the mean time here’s about how my writing schedule goes:
9:30am – Subject wakes up for the third time. Decides to get out of bed.
9:31-11am – Subject watches TV with roommates, snuggles cat and/or other cat and/or puppy.
11-11:05am – Subject gathers laptop, power cord, old manuscripts and notes. Skips next door to Starbucks.
11:05-11:10am – Subject considers which beverage to order, ends up ordering whatever’s The Usual at the time (currently: Venti Iced Decaf Vanilla Latte).
11:10-12:00pm – Subject precariously settles into a tiny table with laptop, notes, and drink. Puts on headphones and selects a soundtrack: classical. Soothing. Inspirational. Reads over what got written last time.
12:01-1:00pm – Subjects writes.
1:01-1:04pm – Subject goes to the bathroom.
1:05-1:08pm – Subject finds new music. Sick of classical.
1:09-2:00pm – Subject writes.
2:01-2:20pm – Intense self-doubt. (This is universal.)
2:21-2:45pm – Subject writes. Deletes everything.
2:46-2:50pm – Subject goes to the bathroom. Buys a cookie on the way back to the table.
2:51-3:30pm – Subject writes. Eats cookie.
3:31-3:34pm – Subject tries to find a way to comfortably wear earbuds. Gives up. Ears hurt. Turns off music.
3:35-4:10pm – Subject writes. Also: Intense self-doubt.
4:11-4:15 – Subject gathers up laptop and supplies and empty cup. Hurries home to use the bathroom.
As anyone with a simple knowledge of math can see, I spend dramatically more time actually writing than Mr. Lennon. Who’s the writer now!