Every morning, my alarm rings, and I launch into the day, getting four kids off to three different schools before heading to my campus for a full day teaching high school. What do I write? Fourteen restroom passes.
In the evenings, between dinner and soccer practice, I argue with at least two children about homework or chores, and check that I didn’t forget to pay the bills online. What do I write? a grocery list and my signature on reading logs or permission slips.
All the while, the ideas in my creative writing journals sit simmering, waiting to be told. Sometimes I get twitchy thinking about the stories I haven’t told yet. I think about my drawer of stories waiting to be finished. There just isn’t enough time in my day to get it all done and write. Right?
You’ve set your intentions with Kellie and planned and plotted with Monica. Now it’s time to write. Ready, set, . . . get distracted.
As writers, we lament our lack of time, but how often do we let distractions steal the little time we do have? In this post, I’ll show you how I use Freedom, along with a few other tricks, to keep me focused, even when life is crazy.
Mark Twain is one of my favorite writers. When I read his essays last year, I came across a bit of revising gold in a 1906 essay titled “William Dean Howells.” Most of the essay praises Howells’s prose in general, but the final paragraphs address what Twain calls “stage directions.”
In a play, stage directions are only visible to the audience through the movement and actor’s inflection during the performance. In a novel, we rely on description to set scenes, give context, and deepen characterization. When done well, stage directions don’t distract from the character or action.
When done poorly, however, Twain has something to say about them.