“The dawntime is precious; the world is quiet. No one will interrupt you; you are rested and ready.” –William Stafford
When I’m asked how I find time to write, I begin my answer by talking about my wife. Because I try to write everyday, at least a page, that means that she spends at least the first three hours of everyday by herself taking care of our two kids while I’m holed up in the basement talking to myself and zipping away on the keys. If I were a father with no wife, I am sure I would write much less. I’ve heard of writers who practically resented their families because of the time it stole from their writing, but I write much more a married man with children than I ever did single. There was too much time spent late-night in bars, too many sleepy and lazy mornings. I work best when I am working off the foundation that my family provides. I work best when I know that if I don’t write first thing in the morning, I probably won’t write.
When I first decided that I wanted to write, I re-arranged my life so that I could do it. I taught at Vance High School in Charlotte where classes began at 7:15 in the morning. I quit that job and began teaching at Weddingtion Middle School where school started at 8:30 and I knew the janitor got there at 6:00 to open the doors. That gave me at least two good hours of work before my day actually began. Back then I thought 5:30 an ungodly hour to get up, but I wanted to write more than I wanted to sleep. Now I get up at 4:45 three days a week when I am teaching. I’ve decided that I like to write more than I like to play golf, more than I like to watch sitcoms or see the New York Knicks play seventy of their games. I’ve read that those who read on the web like bulletted lists. Here’s my list, in order of importance, of how I think I’m able to write:
I have my wife’s blessing to do it first thing
I get up early
I try to write everyday
I know that work leads to more work. What feels like work today is a little closer to fun the next.
My novel, Love on the Big Screen, is forthcoming with Cherokee McGhee press in January of 2011. If you’re on Facebook, I’d appreciate it if you’d become a fan of the press and send me a message hello.