You’re not new to writing. You’ve been writing most of your life. Everybody writes, even if it’s only a to-do list. My granddaughter is only four and she writes her name followed by all the letters she’s learned so far. She hands me her completed page and asks, “Grandma, what does this say?” What does this say? Indeed, when the writer wants the reader to find meaning in her written word, a loop is formed. The reader and the writer are one and the same.
Finding meaning is a scary prospect. What does your writing mean to you? Is writing a requirement for your day job? What do you need to write? A report? A progress note? An invoice? A manifest? If you don’t want to ask the reader what does this say, then your writing becomes an artifact, a crumb in the continuum of man’s time on Earth.
When I was a full time teacher of 152 children, I wrote curriculum content, lesson plans, grants, progress notes, emails, and countless other written works necessary for the job. In my spare time, I started writing a novel. For the first time, I wanted to know what does this say. Then the idea struck me. I’m happiest when I write for myself. In March, I left my teaching position to write full time.
For me, the transition from full time teacher to full time writer is a strange and astonishing journey. What’s most astonishing is the freedom to write and to create my own schedule for doing it.
Do you have a writing schedule? What does it say?
On a good day, here’s mine:
5:30AM – 10:00AM
Turn on computer, check email, write blog, read other blogs for inspiration. Think about what does it say.
10:00AM – Noon
Take a coffee break. Do household chores. Write more. What will this say?
Noon –lunch break.
12:30PM – 3:00PM
Think and write more. What does this say?
3:00PM – 5:00PM
Write more. Read what I’ve written while preparing dinner and finishing household chores. Try to answer the question what does this say.
Stop writing. Stop asking what does this say. Spend time with family.
Ask what does this mean.
Thanks for stopping by!