Writers Never Sleep
Updated: Aug 28, 2018
"A writer never has a vacation. For a writer, life consists of either writing or thinking about writing." I've seen this quote a lot in my perusals of the internet and have only just learned who said it, when I looked it up in preparation for this post. This quote came from Eugene Ionesco, a Romanian-French playwright, who passed a few decades ago, but his words still ring true today, as ours will when we are gone.
The particular quote above has stuck with me in the past few weeks, and not because I'm always writing, but because I feel as though I'm not writing enough. My part-time job has picked up this month, giving me only a couple free days a week, which is something I know lots of people deal with, but something I'm not used to. It's been hard to fit my writing time in amidst my busy work schedule and desire to make the most of my summer. On my days off, I try to dedicate an hour to writing, but most days I'm lucky to get twenty minutes in, if I write at all. And I'm shaming myself for this. I feel like I'm letting myself down, like I'm an imposter of a writer because I don't write all the time like the quote says writers do.
It was during this discouragement that I remembered the last part of Ionesco's quote: if writers aren't writing they're, "...thinking about writing." And that was the important part. As writers, we don't always have time to write, but that doesn't mean we aren't almost always writing. Think about it, how often during the day does your story cross your mind? More times than you can count right? It's always there in your subconscious. We're always working on it, whether we realize it or not.
The other night, during a lull at work, I came up with a bunch of blog post ideas and titles (including this one) and I actually drafted this post in my head at work today, with a few key notes in a small notebook I had on hand. It just goes to show that we as writers never sleep. There's always something running through our minds and that's why we shouldn't be guilty over lack of progress (unless you've done nothing but avoid writing for the last month). We can only do so much and our subconscious brain fills in the gaps. Bits of dialogue come to me in the shower, plot points appear on my drive to work, entire scenes unfold in my head when I'm drifting off to sleep. As a writer I'm, "...either writing or thinking about writing."
As for the first sentence in Ionesco's quote, writers can take vacations. We deserve them as much as everyone else. It's just that our characters will probably still talk to us just as much at the beach as they do when we're siting at our desks with our fingers on the keyboard. And hey, I'm sure they too enjoy the change of scenery.
Hope you guys are having a lovely day and as always, keep writing. : )