What are the priorities in your life? Is it a job, your family, friends, hobbies, watching television - what? Where does writing fall into that list?
For many writers, writing is secondary to something else. For me, I have a job, with unusual hours, that helps pay the bills. I also have a family which includes humans and animals, and they all need attention. And a house which also needs attention from time to time, although housework isn't high on my list. And we have a yard which, though pretty low maintenance, could be better groomed and designed.
I've made it a priority to attend a weekly writing critique group. It keeps me somewhat accountable with my WIP, wanting to have pages to bring in to read. Plus critiquing others' writing helps improve my own. And it gives me a much-needed social experience with people who understand the writing process.
But I still haven't gotten into the "write every day" mindset that a lot of others have. It seems as if that's a mantra of many successful writers. Come hell or high water, they're writing.
I traveled to the other side of the country recently for an unexpected family event and took my laptop, but didn't get much, if any, writing done. Too many distractions. Sorrow. Planning. Family to take care of and spend time with. Or those were my excuses, anyway. Valid, I think. But maybe someone else would have found time to scratch out some lines on paper, or write some at night at the hotel, while spouse was watching tv.
Some days I have bits of downtime at my job when I could be outlining, or editing, or trying to solve plot problems. I carry a folder around with me that has my basic WIP info in, with characterizations, plot bullet points and the last few pages. I could progress, move ahead ... but I usually don't.
Why? What will it take for me to push my writing ahead, make it a priority?
I'm working through the mushy middle now of a cozy mystery. I've finally figured out Who Dun It but that's caused more problems. :-) So now I need to address those, make it all fit together.
I have a deadline in mind. I want to be finished with the first draft by mid June, so I'll have it ready to query in early August. There's a writer's conference with Open Pitch nights, with agents that listen to three-minute pitches and give suggestions on querying. Last year I went just to watch. This year I want to pitch.
I'd better get my game on.