Even if you waste the entire day running errands and responding to “fire drills,” as my husband calls last-minute, drop-everything requests (which for me might range from picking a sick kid up from school to reading page proofs), you can redeem the day if, at some point – for fifteen minutes or an hour – you write.
Nothing else counts when you’re writing a novel. Shopping for groceries. Going to the dentist. Doing laundry. Carpooling to a baseball game. Making dinner. Answering important emails. Getting much-needed exercise.
Of course these other things matter. It’s all real life. But if you don’t put the words on the page, you have wasted a day. Because every minute you spend writing brings you a small step closer to finishing your book.
When you’re working on a novel, the words on the page are the only things that count.