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Silky with Clark Gable and Fred Astaire at the races, 1950

My writers group met recently for our monthly critique and I was startled to discover the writing habits of my fellow members. All three of them admitted to writing EVERY SINGLE DAY! Now, it’s not that this is exactly news—every workshop, class and conference I’ve ever attended has advised a daily writing practice. Every successful writer I’ve heard lecture has said the same thing.

The other writers in my group all have busy lives just like I do. Two of them have partners, one has teenaged kids, all of them have demanding jobs. And yet they write every day. One gets up at five o’clock in the morning before his family’s awake, before he has to be at work. One uses her lunch hour and eats at her desk while working on her second novel. So what’s my problem?!

I find it difficult to move away from the physical world and isolate the way writing requires. And I feel overwhelmed by life’s demands. I tell myself as soon and I get through this or finish that, I’ll focus on my writing. But that’s simply an excuse. Something’s always going to come up—that’s just life. Commitment is what is takes to write. Period. It’s like a muscle & has to be exercised. You just have to make it part of your routine—a habit. That requires discipline. Not my strong suit. But I’m the only one harmed by my indolence and languor.

My goal when I began fourteen years ago was to tell this incredible woman’s story. Enough pussyfooting around–time to get back in the race. Ladies and gentlemen, place your bets…