Before I took on the task of writing full-time, I worked at home for several years. Everyone warned me about staying motivated and making sure I didn’t let my work take over my life. I never had a problem with motivation (I may have hated being a lawyer, but NO ONE could complain about my work ethic), but I did take their advice about ensuring I maintained a private life. It was simple really. I had a home office and that’s where I worked on legal stuff. Period. End of discussion. Sure, I might work until late in the night or get up way too early in the morning to work, but I only worked in my office. My living room, bedroom, etc. was my space and off limits to Lawyer Dena.
After taking writing on full-time, I did the same thing. I got up early in the morning and headed to my office. No matter the level of my creativity or motivation, I worked in that office nearly every morning. I created an entire routine – heck! an entire life – around working in the morning. And sure, I do get a lot of writing done in the morning. That’s not my mistake. My mistake – in addition to the typical writer’s mistake of not writing ideas down as soon as they hit – is that I rigidly refused to write outside of that time.
My muse is a pushy bitch. She’s always throwing ideas my way. Sometimes it’s a blog idea (this idea came to me as I was changing into my tennis gear). Other times, it’s a joke I want one of my characters to tell. Chapter ideas, characters ideas, you name it. She’s pushing, pushing, pushing. All the freaking time. And I’m not complaining about that. It’s great. She may be pushy, but she’s also totally awesome.
And what did I do with all these ideas? I’d think about them while walking the dog or driving my car or even at the check-out lane in the grocery store. I may even write a few lines in my notebook or, more likely, in my phone because I always have my phone with me. But that’s where it stopped. Even if I was bubbling over with a funny scene I wanted to write or had composed an entire blog post in my head, I didn’t actually do more than write a note down somewhere.
This is where you all nod your heads and agree how stupid that was. When creativity strikes, we writers must listen. So, my new resolution is to make sure I strike while the iron’s hot. I may not get the entire scene or blog written, but a note longer than my dumbest mistake as a writer is mandatory. Because that note doesn’t make any sense in the morning when I actually sit down behind my computer. I’ll continue to do the vast majority of my writing in the morning, but, hopefully, I won’t forget all those wonderful ideas my muse keeps sending me. Because no one wants to piss off a bitchy muse.