Saturday, November 21, 2015

Writing is quiet work

If you read the title to this post quickly, you can almost mistake it to read, "Writing is quite work." Well, that's true. But truer still is that writing is quiet work. I think, perhaps, this is my most difficult aspect of writing. It's difficult because it is exactly contradictory to the environment in which I work. You see, I homeschool. I homeschool 5 of our 7 children currently. Our household is always in a state of activity. Add two dogs, two cats, 3 fish, and 1 hamster, and you have yourself a hopping home!

Unfortunately, I am not someone who does well, believe it or not, with noise. (Yes, I have a houseful of kids and pets, but that doesn't automatically ensure me an extra dose of patience or tolerance to the volume level any more than the next person.) One of the things I crave is quiet. However, that doesn't happen unless I intentionally carve out a bit of space to myself. And this is where creativity and satisfaction must meet. I've learned to get creative in the locations I write, and I've learned to be satisfied with the amount of time carved out. This means that a half hour at McDonald's to write will have to do. Or ten minutes waiting to pick up a student from band class can be just enough to brainstorm on the next work in progress. Sometimes, if I get lucky, it means I get an hour to write after the kids are in bed. (Provided the dirty dishes from the kitchen sink aren't chanting my name!)

I'm not sure if all writers are like this, but I'm betting there are very few writers who can work productively in a noisy environment. I know how I work, that I need quiet in order to think. I also need accountability. Deadlines work great for me. However, I wasn't too sure about committing to PiBoIdMo. After all, at the end of the day, it's still one.more.thing. on an already full calendar. I can delightfully say, though, that it's been a blast. I've gleaned much insight from the various authors who have contributed to the daily posts. And thus far, I have kept up with the ideas!

I'm realizing that writing isn't necessarily about banging out 1,500 words in one sitting. (Though that's highly favorable!) It's more about pecking away, small word after small word, until the work in progress is done. It's about perseverance and dedication to the craft. It's about discipline and quiet work. And quite work.