Starting Monday, I have promised myself that I will write for two hours every day. As I told Brother and Dad this last night, they looked at each and snickered – “That will leave plenty of time for other stuff, then, won’t it?” as if to say, Whew, Andi, don’t overdo it there. They were teasing because they both realize that any creative activity takes a lot of time away from the actual work to get things done. For me, part of what is required is a schedule.

Some people take their writing time when it comes; this seems to be the necessary habit of those with small children and/or full-time work. Some write at their best hours, like my students who seem to find Midnight – 2am productive (so do I, but the productivity comes from looking at the back of my eyelids). Others write first thing in their days when their minds are clear and they aren’t yet distracted by the other things that “need” to happen that day. I am one of these folks.

So my writing practice for 2011 will be that – whenever possible – I will write for the first two hours of my day. I will only make coffee, feed the cats, and clean the litter before I write (these things being necessary for me to be able to function uninterrupted). I will walk down to my office (formerly my mom’s craft room), I will light a candle or two, and I will write without the internet connected. I will stare at the screen and flip through books. I will erase the sentence I just wrote and then rewrite it exactly the way it was. I will push to fill a few pages a day, but I will mostly give myself the grace of having shown up and let that show me where I need to go.

Writers out there, what is your writing practice? Will you keep it the same for 2011, or will you change it up? Who out there needs to start a practice? When’s your best writing time? Where do you write? How do you write – computer, paper, journal, talking out loud?

Coffee and Writing