Your Place Your Time

I learned something huge from Stephen King: we writers need a place and a time to write. He  means no interruptions, doors closed.

Yeh, right. When you’re rushing to get to work, when the laundry needs doing, diapers need changing, and some robo’s calling for your vote, maybe it’s not so easy.

Years ago, I wanted to write so bad, but it hadn’t been going well, so I gave it a try. In the mornings, I began turning off my phone and closing up in my little space (a landing at the top of the stairs). I resisted the urges to check email and the stock market. Laundry did not exist. The phone didn’t exist. I kept myself cooped up there, hands on the keyboard, rear in the chair and—voila—pages began to get written.

I told friends I wasn’t available in the mornings, but some still called. I felt guilty when I didn’t answer, had to make myself resist.

My friends have since learned I’m not available mornings until after eleven o’clock. And, to a person, they respect my privacy. One, an artist, is the sort who thrives on contact. We share an awful lot in common and can debate almost anything endlessly. He waits, and when the phone rings at 11:02 I know it’s him.

Get your hands on Stephen King’s On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. He’s a generous master at conveying the behaviors that allow writing to get done. And one of his most important lessons is  we need some place and time for our writing or our stories will never be told.

Thank you, Stephen King.


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