Virginia Woolf wrote: -- a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.
Though writing can be done simply – all you need is a pencil and a piece of paper for the very basics – starvation and homelessness are not conducive to work of any kind! Even if your necessities – food, clothing, and shelter are taken care of, money worries (e.g. the roof is leaking, part of the house is collapsing) are not helpful when trying to do creative work.
Dogs will bark; people will interrupt; money must be made; health will break down.
Still writers write, and can manage on surprisingly small incomes if required, and motivated. It helps if you can focus on the writing and set other concerns aside for periods of time.
For most writers work is solitary. It may require quiet and uninterrupted time as well as space to write. Hence the room where, for at least part of the time, you can shut the door, spread out papers and reference works if needed.
Which is not to say that some people can’t and don’t write in coffee shops, at a kitchen table, on the bank of a river, in a public park, on a bus or while lying on a couch and appearing to sleep. The location may be public, at times even noisy, but the act of writing, whether on a piece of paper, a computer, or in your head, is solitary for most writers.
Some of us do collaborate, others share their work in a writing group, with a mentor or editor and get feedback that we may or may not use. Again, it’s up to the individual.
Actually getting the words down on paper or computer can be a struggle at times. There may be a rush of ideas initially and then comes the hard work of making your ideas a reality. Hurray, you have a first draft! Leave it for a while and come back with fresh eyes. Oh no, it’s awful! Or not bad, but not right either. What now? Another draft, the opinion of another writer? Perhaps.
Does a structure of writing at certain times of the day for a certain number of hours help? Some do it this way. Others set a goal of a certain number of pages that have to be done in a day, but can be done at any time – more flexibility. Some are morning people, other night owls.
Of course it gets easier the more you do it, right? Not necessarily. Each story, poem or book offers its own challenges. As do the changing circumstances of life that have nothing to do with writing.
So long as you write what you wish to write, that is all that matters; and whether it matters for ages or only for hours, nobody can say.
At times I’ve worked on several projects in a week, setting aside different days for each project. In other situations I’ve focused on one project until I completed a draft, then worked on another project while the draft rested. I’ve preferred the flexibility of setting goals of a certain number of pages.
Recently, though, I’ve had a more difficult time. Yes, I got some work done, completed a draft and a revision. But then, I had a hard time getting motivated to work on yet another revision. I felt tired, I wanted a holiday, or just wanted to goof off and do a lot of reading. A break can be useful, but this one seemed to be going on too long. It wasn’t what I’d call writers’ bloc (I’m not sure I really know what that is; I’m certainly never short of ideas, though I do at times lack the motivation or energy to actually sit down and write.) So I made myself do a little writing and felt OK about that, but not completely happy.
Aha! An idea. Where did it come from? I don’t know – probably the same mysterious source where all creative ideas germinate. What occurred to me was something I hadn’t done for a really long time. I would set a fairly rigid schedule and apply it to each week day, working in my activities such as yoga, walks, meals, reading and goof-off time as well as ample writing time. Weekends will be flexible. Yes! It appealed to me.
After some days of the above schedule I found that the writing was going well again, and I could also be flexible within the schedule if need be.
Therefore I would ask you to write all kinds of books, hesitating at no subject however trivial or however vast.