Writing in snow
We woke up this morning with a dusting of snow on the ground. It wasn’t a surprise. The weather guy has been forecasting it all week, and people have been talking, most with moans and groans.
Not me. I’m ready. The trees are already half-bare; pine needles cover the yard. A coating of snow pretties things up. The first snow of the season always does. Besides, it won’t snarl traffic. The roads are too warm for much to stick, and here in Boston’s MetroWest, we didn’t get more than an inch.
But it’s a harbinger.
I repeat. I’m ready. Snow means less temptation to go outside, which means more writing time inside, which is what I need. It’s the old problem of self-discipline. How to come by that when the sun is out and the air is crisp and you absolutely, positively have to buy a new scarf for winter?
Oh yeah, discipline is a problem, because let’s face it. Writing is hard work. Filling that blank screen every morning? Daunting. I work at home where there’s no one to see whether I’m typing or not, no one to see how many times I run downstairs from my office for coffee, water, lunch, a snack – you get my drift.
So bad weather helps. Same with the date. If we’re into November and this book needs to be done by June, I need to get cracking.
My biggest help, though, is a timer. It’s an old kitchen one that I keep set for 30 minutes, which is how long it takes me to write a page. I run that timer over and over again through the day. I may be editing or plotting rather than writing. But my rule is, DO NOT GET UP FROM YOUR CHAIR UNTIL THE BELL RINGS.