Pinch, punch, first day of the month! How did your January go? Did you manage a successful detox? Is it your first day back on the alcohol after 30 days of abstinence?
My January resolution was, to write everyday. Essays, blog, journal, any sort of writing will do. Easy goal, right? Erm, NO.
It was nigh impossible to fit writing in to my daily schedule of a full-time job and family. Write once a week or twice a week, sure. But everyday? God almighty, it was like trying to climb Everest.
But lots of writers hold down day jobs, and still manage to write. Mason Currey, author of Daily Rituals: How Artists Work, made these discoveries while researching for his book:
- Anthony Trollope wrote for three hours every morning before going to his job at the post office, which he kept for 33 years during the publication of more than two dozen books.
- William Faulkner wrote As I Lay Dying in the afternoons before clocking in on the night shift as a supervisor at a university power plant.
- Joseph Heller thrived in magazine advertising by day and wrote Catch-22 in the evenings, sitting at the kitchen table in his Manhattan apartment. “I spent two or three hours a night on it for eight years,” he said. “I gave up once and started watching television with my wife. Television drove me back to Catch-22.”
- While working as a banker, TS Eliot took literary meetings on his lunch breaks and wrote in the evenings.
- For much of her writing career, Toni Morrison not only worked a day job—as an editor at Random House—but taught university literature courses and raised her two sons as a single parent. “It does seem hectic,” she admitted in 1977.
Which leads me to below quote by William Goldman for a conclusion. “You have to protect your writing time. You have to protect it to the death.”