A physician friend cannot make travel plans for the next year because he wants to uphold a standing weekly commitment as president of a civic group in Greenville.
As a doctor, he spent his entire professional life going from one commitment, or appointment, to the next. I hold doctors in high esteem for many reasons, but their ability to live with their responsibility load is one of them.
For me, a single meeting in a day is a burden. That day will have little writing completed.
Writers, at least this one, need vast stretches of unbroken time. Not for sitting at the desk and cranking out sentences. No, the time can be spent all over the place -- but it must be unclaimed time.
Weeks when I have more than four meetings are completely lost for writing. Those times, I complete my assignments, edit stories that are already written or work on short articles.
I am entering a time of re-organizing my office, my work and my life to focus on writing the novel. Old files are thrown away; even my metal file cabinet is going somewhere -- else.
The empty days are filled with dreaming. Those dreams become a novel. There is also the struggle with the dream, to wrestle it into ordinary words, with only subjects, verbs and a few other parts of speech. That work is draining. That work means sitting before a computer or blank paper and scrawling phrases.
It's a cumbersome, organic, disorderly, anarchic process. And it feeds on time. That's what I have to provide.