Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Non-Discretionary Hours

Why is life similar to writing a novel, or launching a blog?

Because something else always seems to come up that is too enticing to resist.

Writers' guides suggest creating a website or blog long before the 3-book contract is signed, before a publisher consents to publishing your novel, and even before an agent agrees to represent you. That's why I have been working on my blog's creation for months. The initial plan, before the revised Thanksgiving date, was to launch the blog . . . well, before now. Then those enticements started showing up, just as they do to disrupt my writing.

Weddings, reunions, and funerals all consume the discretionary hours of a person's normal life. Plans change as emergencies and other unexpected situations arise. Then the hours scheduled for writing the next chapter of that current novel disappear, turning scheduled writing hours into discretionary hours. The trick is to keep the writing hours in the non-discretionary column.

Which projects or daily chores do you have difficulty completing, what hours do you find almost impossible to keep in the non-discretionary column?

The obvious solution, easier said than accomplished, is multi-tasking.

The next time an unexpected event presents itself, I'll continue to write between doing laundry and packing; while waiting for the last boarding call to wherever; and during the flights as I eat my salted pretzels, rather than viewing The Karate Kid for the third time.


  1. I find cross-country plane flights are perfect for writing, either on my netbook or in a (paper) notebook. I hate watching movies with airplane noise destroying the sound, so I never do that, anyways. But give me a visit to my mom in California and I'm sure to get a new scene or two completed.


  2. Gail I'm finally getting around to reading your blog site. Congratulations on your accomplishment in getting this set up!! I do want to be notified when you have your first book in print as I would love to read it!! I'll come back time and again to keep up with your progress and get tidbits that I can use in my own writing. Merry Christmas!! Joyce

  3. Edith, the airplane noise doesn't bother me, it's the person behind me kicking the seat!

  4. Thank you, Joyce, for taking the time to stop by. I know you are up to your ears in activities right now.


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