After dragging my feet for a while, I recently found a women's writing group. I just needed to have a sense for how other people like me, attempting to write but finding themselves pulled in a hundred different directions, got any writing done at all. I signed up three months ago, but haven't been able to attend one of their monthly meetings yet. Argh!
But all is not lost. Via The Daily Dish, I found this website called Daily Routines, devoted to "how writers, artists and other interesting people organize their days".
What a find! The entries about Alice Munro ("As a young author taking care of three small children, Munro learned to write in the slivers of time she had, churning out stories during children's nap times, in between feedings, as dinners baked in the oven.") and Toni Morrison ("Writing before dawn began as a necessity--I had small children when I first began to write and I needed to use the time before they said, Mama--and that was always around five in the morning.") are heartening. Of course, they are accomplished writers and I'm still languishing in wannabe land, but one can always dream, right?
There are other fun nuggets - Kafka was a procrastinator (yay! so am I!), Emily Post wrote in bed and did not get off it until noon (sigh!).
The posts reminded me of the time a couple of years ago when I interviewed author Sashi Deshpande for AIR's FM station in Bangalore. One of the questions I asked during the interview was what her advice would be to people who wanted to be writers. The lady looked at me, wagged a finger and said, her voice gentle but admonishing, "You can't want to be a writer. That's the wrong way to look at it. You must want to write."
I think I've got the 'want' part down. I was up at 4 this morning, little ideas that demanded to be put down on paper doing the jiggy in my head. Just don't ask me how I ended up on The Atlantic's website.