July 22, 2016 by Petrea
The 19th century French novelist Gustave Flaubert said, “Be regular and orderly in your life so that you may be violent and original in your work.”
I like that, and I’m pretty good at the regular and ordinary part. Early every morning, I make coffee and serve breakfast to my canine assistant, Wilma. Then I sit at my desk. No email, no Facebook, no web surfing. I open a browser only if I need to look up a word or research something relevant to my story. I have an hour or two to write (violently and, I hope, originally) before one of three things happens: John gets up, I run out of coffee, or Wilma gets restless. I stop then, and take her for her walk.
Having a regular writing routine has mostly good points. An hour may not seem like much, but in my experience novels get written this way. And thanks to routine, I never have to wait for inspiration. When I sit down with my coffee, the inspiration pump is primed and the words flow, as violent and original as I can make them.
There’s one drawback: when I find that rare hour in the afternoon or evening to write, I’ve got bupkis. I can hardly bring myself to look at the page, much less write on it. What to do with that time? Clean the house? Go for a walk? Compose a song? With so many options I can’t seem to choose one, so I usually balance the checkbook.
It’s all good news. For one thing, the second draft of my Work In Progress is coming along well. For another, my finances are perhaps original but not violent, and that kind of order suits me.