Success in Writing: What it Takes

I recently read an article about how much you should write every day in order to be a successful writer. I always read these articles and smile a little because I’ve read so many of them, and I know every writer is different. You may read an article that says to write a certain number of words, no matter how long it takes. Another will state positively that you must write for a certain number of hours every day. No matter what, sit down at your desk for that amount of time.

The most popular question people ask me when they find out that I write is “Where do you find the time?” I actually like this question because it shows some understanding of what a mother’s writing life is. It’s getting up at the break of dawn and getting the kids off to school and writing furiously for an hour before you have to run errands or clean the house or exercise or whatever. Then it’s rushing back to get a few more minutes in before the first pickup of the day.

After that, my writing time comes in what I call my “stolen moments”. All of a sudden you realize the kids are busy with homework, the house is clean(ish) and you’ve got fifteen or twenty or thirty minutes before you have to fix dinner. Or the kids are all in bed and your husband is busy and you’ve got an hour before you need to get to bed.

That’s what it takes to write a novel when you’re a mom. The sound of the school bell affects me like Pavlov’s dogs. I begin to salivate, looking forward to my writing time, and I imagine it’s the same for moms who write everywhere.

But what does it take to succeed in writing? I think Stephen King has it right. He says you have to write a lot. Like anything, writing takes practice and every word you write gets you closer to that nirvana of perfection. Whether or not I’ll ever achieve it, I don’t know. I’m working toward it every day, on this blog, on the guest posts I do for my book tour, on my work-in-progress. Everything I write is a step closer.

In case you missed it, I took one of those steps yesterday on Welcome to My World of Dreams. You can find my guest post here: A Writer’s View: Michelle Garren Flye. Don’t forget to stop by every Monday through the end of November for a link to my next blog tour stop!