By popular demand, more from Jacob Appel, the guy who wins when you lose:
My last name is pronounced uh-PELL (rhymes with lapel--sort of). It's
I write whenever I can find a block of time. I wish I could say that
I had a structured schedule and I greatly admire those writers who
consistently write three hours a day, every day, even on Christmas Eve
and Thanksgiving, but I just cobble together a few hours whenever I
have the opportunity. My students often ask me when/how they should
write and I tell them I don't think that there is any magic formula.
Every writer has his or her own cycle. The trick is to find the time
and place that feel most natural. My only wisdom on the subject is
that I think one of the hardest skills to learn is when to *stop*
writing for the day--to figure out when one is too mentally depleted
to continue creating. That takes far more discipline--for me, at
least--than sitting down to start writing. This is particularly true
when the writing is going well...but stopping while you're still
performing at the top of your game is, in my opinion, a crucial skill.
Or at least one I find valuable.
I earn a living through a combination of teaching and lecturing, both
in writing and in the field of bioethics. I rarely turn a profit on
my stories, as I try to put as much of my literary earnings as
possible back into my writing budged: journal subscriptions, contest
fees, donations to worthy literary causes, etc. I think it's very
important to subscribe to and to read as many of the literary journals
that one submits to as possible, although I don't always practice what
I advocate as much as I probably should. I am truly addicted to
reading literary journals, and they have become an increasingly large
part of my monthly budget.
I hope that's helpful.
Jacob M. Appel