Friday, July 28, 2006

Writing Despite a Full Life

I once watched a TV movie about Churchill's later years, right before he assumed leadership of England during WWII. He was a great writer who set a goal of 2,000 words every day. He usually met that goal despite a full life that didn't allow him to devote himself exclusively to writing. Shouldn't I be able to write a fraction of that amount on a regular basis?

Photo: Men along the Songhua River in Harbin, China, not far from my hotel room.

1 comment:

Al Hsu said...

I'm a full-time editor at a Christian publishing house, and I have two young kids. I just published my third book, and much of my writing was done at three or four in the morning. That's about the only time I could do it, since I'd be so beat by the evenings. I'm an insomniac anyway, and I wake up in the middle of the night and can't get back to sleep, so I get up and write. I remember hearing that John Grisham wrote his first novel by getting up at four or five in the morning, writing longhand on yellow legal pads, and then going to the courthouse and practicing law all day.

I was just at a Calvin College seminar about writing as Christian proclamation, and one of my fellow participants is an editor and novelist who works part-time a few days a week as an editor for a publishing house and then does her own writing the other days. And Deb Rienstra wrote her book Great with Child about pregancy, childbirth and motherhood in little snippets, a few paragraphs at a time here and there in the midst of busy parenting, and eventually it became a full book. Everybody's different and finds different ways of doing their writing, but gosh, it would be tough to do 2,000 words a day.