I belong to a great online site, The Internet Writing Workshop, and on the writing list we recently had an ongoing thread about the author Nora Roberts who was recently profiled in The New Yorker.

Roberts is a self-taught writer and has published 182 novels.  She writes eight hours a day and her advice to writers: Ass in the chair.

I couldn't have said it better.

But that ass in the chair doesn't mean a disciplined writer. In my previous blog, Exiled at the Beach, I wrote about procrastination and how it sabotages my writing efforts on a daily basis. I actually named it Clementina and lamented how she would seduce me to do anything else, but write. 

Do I have her under control? Yes and no. Yes, because I write for a living; no because I'm not as productive with my novel. I still make excuses to not write. These run the gamut from:

  • Walking the dogs
  • Reading a book (with the excuse that as a writer and book reviewer I have to read)
  • Taking a shower for inspiration
  • Go to the post office for the mail
  • Email, email, and email!
  • Reading other blogs
  • Plain ol' putzing around

Before I know it eight hours have whizzed by, and  if I did write anything that day it might have been five pages for my novel Julius. And I consider myself lucky if that's the case. Five pages a day can easily turn out to be 150 pages a month, but that rarely happens. It just might be five pages for the entire month or even three months. Pathetic, n'est-ce-pas?

And because I don't want to be pathetic or rushing through my work, it's time to sign-off and write. . . .