We are delighted to post a guest post blog from Andrew McFayden-Ketchum,
our Mid-City writers' group moderator!
One of the most common problems
I hear about from writers is "finding enough time" to, yah know, WRITE. There are dinners to make, kids to clothe,
vehicles to repair, fat to lose… the list goes on and on.
I've been writing stories and poems since I was seven years old, I've most certainly had this problem.
Throughout my formative years I loved to write and was pretty good at it. But after
graduating from college, I was tending bar at a high-end club in downtown Nashville while clerking at a law firm and working
on local political campaigns. I was meeting girls, making good money, and, every night when I came home to the stars spread
above my studio apartment on the outskirts of town, it seemed my muse was waiting for me.
There was only one problem: I wasn't actually writing.
first it seemed natural. I'd just graduated. I was making a living. I needed a break.
But as summer moved into fall and fall into winter, I discovered that even when I'd carved out some random time to
write, I either had writer's block or simply didn't have the energy to write in the first place. That was when I knew something
had to change.
So I went to my mother and explained the problem.
And pretty quickly we came to a solution: Establish a schedule and never deviate from it.
"All great artists have a work routine," she said. "You're not going to write if you don't force yourself
to. It's too hard."
So we spent the afternoon looking at my
finances and at my day-to-day schedule. With a little tweaking we discovered I could cut back my work schedule a bit and write
2-3 hours a day if I got up at 6 am.
I tried it for a week and the
results were obvious. I was reading poetry that had been gathering dust over a year on the bookshelf, and I was writing and
revising poems left and right.
Of course, back then I was just a
kid. No wife, no kids, no mortgage. Well, that's all changed now (minus the kids), and I still get up at 6 am every weekday
and read and write for at least four hours. That's 20 hours a week of writing folks— not bad considering I have six
part-time jobs, have been married for five years to a career woman, edit an online poetry journal, and live in the second
most expensive city in the country.
I'm not saying everyone has to
get up at 6 am or that writing several hours a day is required to create the works you have in you to create.
What I'm saying is simpler than that.
Establish a routine and don't let anything change the plan.
it for a week and let the results speak for themselves