It turns out there are some similarities between cats and the writing process.
Last weekend I picked up my very old cat, Side Table, and cradled her. I danced with her and sang a song of my own making that had lyrics made of her name. "Side Table! Side Table!" I sang. We skipped around the room and danced and swayed and sang.
She was not at all pleased.
When I put her down, she huffed off. And I thought, But Side Table! You're always asking to be cuddled. And now is when I had the time to cuddle you, and you didn't like it.
Side Table, you see, is incredibly annoying and wants my attention almost always (except when I gave it to her in the form of a frolic). I am, accordingly, almost always busy or not prepared to cuddle her (i.e. when I'm writing). As a result, Side Table gets few cuddles, and the one she got during the dance wasn't to her liking.
We're often told how we should write every day, no matter what. I have a lot of "no matter whats" -- days when my brain is pureed peas, or I'm so tired that I just don't have it in me to write. I know that if I force myself, I'll produce pureed peas, too. Even worse, my most creative periods are during the day while I'm working (luckily for my employer). My brain-mush time is at night after the whippersnapper is asleep and the Side Table has begun her irritating supplications. And of course, that's my writing time. That isn't to say that all I produce during that time is pureed peas. It just means I use what I can, because life is busy. And I want to write, while working full time and mothering a toddler. I just want to. And I'm going to. And I do.
I guess I always make time at night to write, whether I can or not. Having that time consistently is important. Using it is up to me. But if I take nights off, that's okay too. I tend to be too disciplined sometimes, and constantly have to remind myself that everything should be in moderation.
How do you handle this? Do you write on a schedule? Do you make yourself write every day no matter what? Do you have problems writing if you don't have a schedule? Do you dance with your cats in a manner that annoys them?