Ideal Writing Conditions

A secluded cottage by a lake would be nice – one with maid and butler service.  I’m sure something like that exists, but a first-time novelist writing on spec can’t afford such luxuries.  Instead, I’m the only adult in a house with four kids (ages 7-12) … so if I’m lucky, I’ll get a three-minute stretch of peace and quiet.

I get a kick out of people who demand strict conditions for writing – hours of complete, uninterrupted silence during which they attempt to connect with their muse and “create.”  How do they survive in the world?  Isn’t there always a distraction – as innocuous as a car horn or as tantalizing as an invitation to a dinner party?  Sounds a bit like the “writer’s block” excuse, doesn’t it?

Oh, I agree that a couple of quiet hours are essential for refining a piece of writing.  Now that school is out for the summer, I have to content myself with bits of time at either end of the day – before the kids get up and after they go to bed.  Mostly though I’m writing during those little pockets of peace that occur throughout the day – when no one is hungry, refusing to share a toy, has a scrape on their knee or is arguing over which board game to play.

They may not be ideal, but those are the conditions under which a huge portion of my book is being written.  Hey, if Jodi Picoult can do it, so can I.

On that note, I must run.  It’s five minutes past noon and the littlest kid just asked when lunch will be ready.

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