The Struggling Writer

The chronicles of a freelance writer as he tries to make a living.

Friday, August 08, 2008

I Can't Write in the Cracks

It's really too bad I haven't been able to keep up with blogging. Many things have happened lately that would be good object lessons to fellow struggling writers. Rather than try to remember them right now, I'll just jot down a thought I've been chewing on.

Several months ago a WAHM writer posted an essay entitled something like "Writing In the Cracks". I haven't been able to find it again or I would link to it.

Her point was that being a successful writer while taking care of your family meant seizing opportunities, an hour here and there, to write. Getting up early and working before the rest of the house is up, getting some things done while Junior is napping, and so on. You aren't ever going to have "writing days" so you need to aggressively find slices of time.

Her essay was well received by the WAHM community as a lot of writers agreed. Often it's the difference between succeeding and failing as a writer.

As a WAHU (Work At Home Uncle) who takes care of my special needs niece two or more days per week, I can sympathize. Even as we speak, my niece is napping and I should take this opportunity to get something done. However after many months of trying, I've come to the conclusion that it just doesn't work for me.

I'm a momentum writer. It takes me a while to get going but then I can keep plugging away for hours. When I have a clear day I get a lot done, but I just can't write in erratic spurts.

I also find it hard to write outside of my comfort zone. A while back I moved my desk out of my office because of noise from the neighbors but I couldn't get anything done working from the living room. So I moved back and learned to just filter out the noise.

Of course the problem is that I don't often have clear days. I'm still not sure how I can balance this need with my current erratic life. I do the best I can to pile errands on one day so I can have dedicated writing days. However often one distraction can destroy the whole day.

I need to hold myself to more rigid schedules to give myself the luxury of writing days. Each week I struggle, barely meeting deadlines, and each week I swear that next week I'll do better.

Today I got up at 4 am to bang out two quick articles to meet my Friday morning deadline. Next week I'll do better :)


  • At 6:37 PM, Anonymous John said…

    please call me John. I feel great reading your blog. Of course, I am also struggling writer, with my mauuscript lying idle in all rubbish bins of the publishers, still rotting maybe.
    I am not writing a novel that basically centres around a twenty-something authour, someone who has been through, and is still weathering all the treacherous journey of finding a publisher. And I want to write something deep about a struggling writer may think deep inside during all these years of refusal, self-denial, grievance and arrogance. I hope you may give me a few insights about the psychology of such character.
    A million thanks! Let all writers unite!

    My e-mail:


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