When is the best time to write?

From my NaNo friends, what I’ve been hearing is, ‘it just isn’t the right time’. When is the right time to write?

Myself, I started writing because I was terminally bored. When I wrote ‘ATL Engineering’ I was living up north, working in engineering, and most of my friends had moved down south, (sound familiar, it’s the premise of that book.) Just like the main character, I moved to Atlanta, started a new job, got a bunch of new friends, had lots of wild and crazy fun, and forgot all about writing. I picked it up again fourteen years later after getting laid . . . off. I had moved from the city to the mountains, and the isolation I once appreciated, (I could piss off my front porch), was, well, isolating. So I wrote not only because I was bored but also because it’s a good creative outlet, and I needed a creative outlet, at least that’s what my therapist said.

Well, Margaret Mitchell was laid up with an ankle injury, and had to do something to keep from getting stir-crazy:

In May 1926, after Mitchell had left her job at the Atlanta Journal and was recovering at home from her ankle injury . . . (her husband) was growing weary of lugging armloads of books home from the library to keep his wife’s mind occupied while she hobbled around the house; he emphatically suggested she write her own book instead: “For God’s sake, Peggy, can’t you write a book instead of reading thousands of them?” (wikipedia)

Which is an approach my brother-in-law took with my sister: “All you do is sit around reading trashy vampire books. Why don’t you write one? If (your brother) can do it, it can’t be that hard!” So she did.

John Grisham was quite occupied, being a husband, father, and trial lawyer, but found time to write an hour each day:

“If there is one thing I’ve learned since I started writing it’s that you can’t just wimp out of it. You write when you’ve got time, and you write when you haven’t got time, and if by the end of that you’ve still not got a novel then you stay up until three in the morning to get the thing on paper.” (mark williams international – http://markwilliamsinternational.com/2011/09/07/a-time-to-write-with-apologies-to-john-grisham/)

J.K. Rowling was divinely inspired to write, and did so through grief, depression, and joblessness / poverty:

“Failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy to finishing the only work that mattered to me. Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one area where I truly belonged. I was set free, because my greatest fear had been realized, and I was still alive, and I still had a daughter whom I adored, and I had an old typewriter, and a big idea. And so rock bottom became a solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”(wikipedia)

I guess my point is, you either have to have a gaping hole to fill . . . in your life, socially and/or psychologically, and/or be like the local news, ‘Dedicated, Determined, Dependable’. When is the best time to write? Not when you WANT to, but when you NEED to.

About scavola

author of the gay 'Duke' and GLBT 'ATL Engineering' series
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