It’s really, really, really hard to imagine having the time to write a novel, screenplay, or comic book when you’re already slammed with work, kids, exercise, and so on. But Anne Lamott is here to remind you: since there is only one life, do you really want to spend it being busy for the sake of busyness?
This is what I say: First of all, no one needs to watch the news every night, unless one is married to the anchor. Otherwise, you are mostly going to learn more than you need to know about where the local fires are, and how rainy it has been: so rainy! That is half an hour, a few days a week, I tell my students. You could commit to writing one page a night, which, over a year, is most of a book.
That last line is crucial, and it’s what I tell a lot of busy writers. If you want to write a novel, find time to write a page a day. Even if you allow yourself weekends and holidays off, that would still equate to 200 pages by the end of a year—which is, like Lamott says, most of a book. I’d say 200 pages is 50% of an adult novel, 75% of a young adult novel, and 100% of a middle grade novel!
And hey: if you can manage to write two pages a day, you’d wind up with 400 pages within a year—remember, this is with weekends and holidays off.
You can do this.
Anne Lamott’s full, amazing, inspiring article is available at Sunset Magazine.