I’ve been thinking about a quote from Flannery O’Connor that ran in Writers Almanac a while ago.
I write only about two hours every day because that’s all the energy I have, but I don’t let anything interfere with those two hours, at the same time and the same place. This doesn’t mean I produce much out of the two hours. Sometimes I work for months and have to throw everything away, but I don’t think any of that was time wasted. Something goes on that makes it easier when it does come well. And the fact is if you don’t sit there every day, the day it would come well, you won’t be sitting there.”
When I first saw that, I had grown lax about defending my writing time. It kept getting easier to put off writing in mid-morning, and easier to got out and do something instead. So I shifted to writing first thing, even before coffee, and that’s turned out to be a writing time I can maintain every day.
I especially like the part where she says “Something goes on that makes it easier when it does come well.” By sticking to a writing time, you’re making space for inspiration to arrive. Otherwise, how else will your muse know when’s a good time to show up?
Well, something is going on. Whether it’s coming well is debatable, but it’s certainly coming flowingly. The crazy thing is I had wanted to lighten up, and not write so deathly serious all the time. Evidently, trying to find the funny made my muse snap, because everything coming out right now is deathly, deathly serious.
You know what? If that’s what my muse wants to talk about, I’m not going to argue.