Thursday, April 23, 2009

Writing times

I'm in sunny SoCal, in Los Angeles actually. I'm out visiting my son who relocated here last August, from Boston. It's great seeing him (I haven't seen him since he headed west), and I'm also going to spend the weekend with 130,000 other fans of the book at the LA Times Festival of Books, happening at UCLA, April 25 and 26.

Both he and I are up early (4:30), blogging, and typing away on our laptops. He maintains the witty EverydayYeah site, writes fiction, and continues to hone his craft, while also maintaining a f/t job. I certainly have my own experience with burning the candle at both ends. For most successful writers, that's the type of discipline that you must develop if you ever have hopes of moving your writing to the next level.

When is your best time to write, and once you determine that, are you making a regular appointment each day with yourself to spend at least an hour working on something--an essay, novella, that book you've said you were going to finish, or an article for a magazine--writing doesn't just happen. You plan it, or life crowds it out.

In anticipation of my trip to LA, I've been reading Bukowski. While his life has been romanticized by some, especially those that love the idea of the writer's life being one of booze, women, and debauchery (lack of discipline), the reality, when you view the amount of material that he published, he obviously had a very disciplined approach to writing. It may not have been at 4:30, or before noon for that matter, but writing at 11:30 pm, while you're polishing off a six-pack still gets material down on paper. Even better if you can leave the booze for some other time.

If you call yourself a writer, then by all means, write.

I hope to have some interesting stories, photos, anecdotes, and general positive things to report from the weekend's book soiree. On Friday, I'll be at SkylightBooks, in downtown, hearing (and possibly, meeting) Amy Goodman, co-host of DemocracyNow.

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