They mess with their writing schedules, or they go to readings clearly to put in face time with friends, or they spend lots of time in coffeehouses answering email or playing around on Facebook (which is what it really means to be on Facebook for 95% of its users, let's face it), or they say "When this or that happens, I'll get back into writing."
I would like to be a writer who writes every day, without fail. At times, I have been a writer who writes every day. Not currently. I think that I write more than I think I'm writing, but I'm not writing every day. I'm not even messing with my writing schedule. I'm thinking about messing with my writing schedule. (I'm planning.)
Continuing with this schedule idea: Kelli posted an excerpt from Gretchen Roberts who quotes Marcia Conner's writings about chronobiology—the body and its clock. My quick summary: Even though we tend to think of ourselves as morning people or night owls (larks or nightingales), really we're cycling throughout the day between brain time (brilliant), body time (sleepy), and butt time (in between).
Although I describe myself as a morning person, I've noticed that my peak creativity times are both 7:00-10:00 in the morning and 3:00-6:00 in the afternoon. Oh, that's when I'm on my commute. That's when I'm in transition. (I rebel against transition, but it looks like it's good for me.) Unfortunately, it's harder to write something down when I'm in transit. I can write it on paper, but it often stays there and never moves beyond the initial free write. Now that sounds like an excuse.
In the most recent issue of Weber, Carolyn Forche talks about the writing advice she gives her students: Sit down and write anything for half an hour—and if that anything starts to look like it could become something, stick with it as long as possible until you have to start the rest of your day.
I'm excited by this approach. It isn't new, and yet somehow it is new.
Now, I just need to fit that half hour into a time when I'm really ready for it.