Maybe you’re one of those few writers who have infinitely supportive friends and family? Your family doesn’t need constant attention. They don’t see writing as some kind of threat to your love for them. When you say you’re going to write they wish you well and never once call out to you to check something out or fix something or change something. I’ve seen them on TV. I’ve just never met them in real life.
It’s not that we don’t have any friends and family that don’t fully support our writing. Most do. They’re just unconscious saboteurs, because they love you and they want to spend time with you. So, they call. Or text. Or Skype. Or email. Or call again. And you want to talk to them, because you love them. But at some point, you have to turn everything off and go into your writing cave and make something happen. There is no other way. That novel will not write itself. I know. I’ve tried to ignore writing for months, only to come back and find that the computer failed to pick up where I left off. Fucking lazy computer.
Hemingway thought it was bad luck to talk about writing. When asked about whether he talked to other writers, he said the worst thing you can do is talk about your story, because you’ve destroyed any reason to tell it. So, stop that blogging, put down the phone, turn off that Facebook and Twitter, and lock your door. Get to it. I know, I know, I am writing this in a blog post. So be it. It’s still valid advice. Like my parents taught me (through action not words) it’s best if you do as I say and not as I do.
When it comes right down to it, writing is about choice. You have to know when to say no. You have to stand up and say, “I’m not watching another second of TV, I’m writing. If you don’t like it, too bad,” or “look I’ve got to go and get a few things done.” Of course, a lot of times it’s never that easy. You have to fight and scramble for every single second of writing time.
When you do find little snippets of time, it often feels like the Muse simply can’t get turned on, on demand. She’s not an iPod, unfortunately. So, more often than not, when you are struggling with a story, short writing stints are unproductive and defeating. You know what though? It doesn’t matter. You have to write anyway. If you’re not writing, then you’re stagnating. Your skills are dying right now. Don’t let them.