I’ve been busy lately. Busy doing paying work, picking beans from the garden, paying bills, updating my blog, getting the car fixed…

All this activity that is not writing (well, not fiction writing, since some of my paying work revolves around writing), has kept me from devoting time to the one activity that has been a constant in my life since I was 8.

Why is it so difficult, despite the fact that I am one of the few writers I know who actually enjoys the process of writing, to push aside the distractions and make time for the work? Dance of Souls took me at least six years to write. My previous novel took seven. But as I discovered when I finished the final draft of Dance last year, I can crank out a lot of words when I actually commit to sitting down every day and doing it.

The method I used to finish Dance was to commit to writing first every morning when I turned on my computer. That meant not checking e-mail, not checking Facebook to see what my friends had been up to for the last 12 hours, not reconciling the checking account, and certainly not jumping up every 15 minutes to warm my tea.

Thanks to my writing group, I am making headway on my next novel. But I’d like the process to go a little quicker this time. So (and you heard it here first) I am committing to follow my “write first” plan for the remainder of 2011, starting on August 31 (the first day of school in my neighborhood), my “school year” will begin too.

Follow along with me. I’ll report my progress here.

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