When Fleetwood Mac wrote about going your own way they were referring to love, but I find there are a lot of places where this idea applies to writing. But here’s a link anyway, because…Fleetwood Mac on a Wednesday.
This subject came to mind this morning as I was scrolling through FB and watching the posts of many writers who stay up until all hours to get their word count in. There are funny comments about staggering around on too little sleep and missing their beds in exchange for word count. And for a moment, I felt bad. I felt like I might be doing it wrong, because I don’t stay up late save on deadlines and other occasions where the book really grabs me and demands a late night write.
Then it occurred to me that I have no reason to feel that way because there is no one path to success, or word count. For me a 10 pm bedtime means I’m capable of being a good mommy (Including being up from 4-5 singing the toddler back to sleep because she dreamed there were spiders in her bed.), and a better wife as the hubby and I get up at 6 so he can head to work. It means my body feels better and works better while fighting fibromyalgia.
So I get my count done in other ways. I’ve worked out a system with the husband for 2-3 nights a week when he watches the child and I write from dinner until bedtime. I ponder stories while we go to the park and weed the garden. I write dialog in my head while I do laundry. And yeah, I take the laptop up with me during bath time and write while the toddler pretends she’s a fish. 15 minutes here. 20 minutes there. Technical writing. Editing. Creative writing. It all gets done. It works and I get the sleep and exercise and family time I need to be a whole person.
Remember the idea of the starving, crazy artist isn’t something to aspire to (except where crazy is the fun kind of crazy, go with me here). So find your own way, but in a way where you take care of the writing and you take care of you and those who are most important to you. The writing will be better for it.
So crank up the Mac and boogie on down, Your Own Way.