July 07, 2009

Wake-Up Call

From April Halprin Wayland, via the Teaching Authors blog:

One of the most valuable moments of my writing career happened during a meeting. There were six of us that night: a sculptor, a screen writer, a painter, a violinist, an interior decorator, a muralist and me.

I said, "Everything in my life has a voice— work, family, volunteer activities, doctor appointments, pets. But my writing is mute. It doesn’t have anyone to lobby for it."

The next day, the violinist telephoned. "I really need your help," she said, sounding desperate. "Can you give me an hour?"

I groaned silently…but because she was a good friend, I began mentally re-arranging my day to fit her in. "Yes, of course I can," I said.

"Good," she said. "Because this is your writing speaking." Then she hung up.

This week, the Teaching Authors are focusing on time management--something many writers with day jobs (or, dare we say, lives outside writing) struggle with. Read the rest of April's post here, and if you've got progeny affecting your schedule, too, don't miss this post by Jeanne Marie Grunwell Ford.

April's story about the phone call from her friend reminded me how often I push aside my writing, fooling myself very ingeniously by assuring myself that, no, it's not that my novel isn't important--it's just that the other stuff is currently MORE important. But how many times can I tell myself that? There comes a time when we all need to decide to value our writing like we would a dear friend, giving it the time and space it needs.


tanita✿davis said...

I totally want to do this to you now. Big long-distance call... from your writing...

Unknown said...

I totally agree with you - as writers, we should never put aside our writings. These are the fruit of our love for the written words. When I had this admissions essay in college, I made sure that I had expressed who I really am through the words since I know these words are powerful. I always appreciate my writing may it be small or long because this is me; my writing reflects who I really am.