The Importance of Compartmentalizing as a Writer

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As is so often the case, what is a good strategy for writing is not always a good strategy for a good or happy life. That is to say, we are always taught not to compartmentalize and to be flexible. The only way I have been able to survive as a writer, also a wife, teacher and mother, is to compartmentalize like mad. So that if I have two or three ideas going at once, I discipline myself to do only one at a time, promising myself that after an hour I will allow myself to move on.

What is important for me is to stick to a writing schedule, which means my tush is on the chair for a certain amount of time every day: I don’t require any page or word output from myself, just a time of not moving on to something else.

Writing when I had young children and limited time to work was good training for this.