The unless changes from author to author. It needs to be quiet, I need a certain piece of music, I need a glass of wine, a cup of tea, coffee, whatever...
This is ritualising the act of writing and, of course, if that ritual is disrupted then nothing gets written. I know many independent authors and most of them are having to juggle writing around jobs, children, running a house etc... This is not what I'm talking about. Those are not excuses - they are reasons. Big difference.
Recently my life has been very chaotic. My relationship eroded to such an extent I had to end it. I recently had a hospital stay due to a couple of falls that injured my left leg (I still have the big boy's painkillers.)
Due to the turmoil, I stopped updating this blog. As the saying goes "If you can't say anything nice - don't say anything at all" So I didn't. What I did do was learn more about the craft of writing...
When I first started I spoke to a fellow author who expressed unhappiness about some of their earlier work still being available. They felt it wasn't up to standard. I reassured them it was good enough to be published so it was up to standard. The thing is, I'm beginning to feel the same. The fact I have recognised the fact is a good sign - it means I can do something about it.
What I have done is add another stage to my writing that I have called a 'deep edit'. This, I suppose, is what authors all over the world do and what the major publishing houses do routinely. As an independent, working out of my spare bedroom, I don't have that luxury.
So what does this have to do with my original point? I've done all this through heartbreak, pain, hospitalisation and financial disruption. Who cares that the tunes aren't right?
I have been writing almost exclusively for 'Thomas and the Missing Sock' and have deep edited the first three chapters. The shrinkage (words I deleted) had reduced from about 20% (!!!) on chapter one to around 8% for chapter three. I take this as proof I am getting better at my craft.
If I can do it. so can you...