by Kelly Ann Beaton

I am always impressed by people who can write on time. You know the people in university who always had their report or research paper done 2 months in advance. Or the people who can sit down and just start writing. I wish I could be one of those persons. I remember reading an article on Danielle Steel and it said that after she had breakfast and worked out, she wrote from 9 a.m to 5 p.m, breaking only for a quick bite of lunch. Wow! How does she do it?

I am a spontaneous writer. I write in fits and starts. I often write on the go. I write on the bus or in waiting rooms. I love writing in waiting rooms as I tend to be like a stenographer, writing down the dialogue in the room. This may be a good excuse for eavesdropping.

I must confess that I will take my writing whenever and however I can get it. These threads of consciousness have served me well on a number of occasions. I often remind myself of the wonderful scene in Shakespeare in Love (1998), where Will Shakespeare, played by Joseph Fiennes (sidebar comment - who is an incredible actor who we do not see enough of…. I will save my Ode to Joseph Fiennes for another blog) tries in vain to write, only to have his desk littered with drafts. While I know how he felt, the question is - can I or more specifically do I want to change…

So here is to everyone who takes a moment to write something today… a card, a report, or even a poem. Doesn’t matter what you write…. Just write!

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  1. Great post, Kelly. I used to think I could only write when inspiration struck me, until I participated in NaNoWriMo a few years ago. It taught me the best rule of writing: If you're not sitting at your computer (or holding a pen and paper), the words definitely can't flow. While I can't keep up that pace every day, I do sit at the computer and amazingly, the stories flow. If it comes out not what I anticipated, well, that's what revision is for!
    And I'm with you on Joseph Fiennes too...

  2. I'll second Cate's comment. Completely and utterly.

  3. So true ladies. I've taken to trying to wake early in the AM before work and life get in the way.

  4. Thank you Kelly,

    For bringing up this age-old question of writing 'discipline' I guess... For lack of a better word.
    I think it just boils down to personal habits and preferences. It's not that Steele is right and Beaton is wrong, or vice-versa, it's just a different discipline. Though I do agree with Cate above that even great inspiration cannot be indulged unless you are close to some writing implements...

    Personally, I weave in and out. But I am always waiting for the few days before a deadline to begin being more disciplined... Go figure!

  5. For me - I research every day - and I write outlines etc.. but creative writing -weelll - that's a bit tougher. But I think it's true - you just have to write - even if you hate what you write afterwards - at least you've written something.

  6. I spent all morning try to write a scene and it was so hard to do it. I finally had to get a photo of the location and listen to some mood music. I write from emotion and I need to feel it when I write it. But sometimes I just want to feel it or travel to the location I'm writing about - I want to experience it instead of writing it. Feels like torture sometimes. :)

  7. Great blog. I think each writer must do whatever they are driven to do to get the words on paper. I write better at night, so most of my writing is done between 12:00and 4:00 am.
    I'm a cold writer. I just sit and start writing scenes because my books are like moving pictures in my head waiting I suppose that is why I'm known for dialog, like some writers are known for scenes and narratives.
    I also go through a panic process going from one book to the other with the fear of if the next will be as good as the last. Then the deadline looms and I find I write better under pressure.
    As far as Ms. Danielle Steel, I believe she can write like it's a job hours is because if you notice when you read her books she's a formula writer. Her story and characters change but the format of how the story plays out is the same.
    Intentional or unrealized I'm not sure, but that type of organized writing can help in keeping a more scheduled writing also her lifestyle affords her this opportunity.
    How many of you have your children and or husband and family totally disrespectful of your writing time because they don't take what you do serious?
    I imagine when you are pulling in millions of dollars from writing, you can have an undisturbed work schedule too. *LOL*

  8. This reminds me of when I read how Stephen King once said that he wrote every day except his birthday and Christmas. Later he amended it to confess he also wrote on those two days, he just thought people would think he was too weird. Hah!!

    Great post!



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