Claire's entry spoke eloquently of the challenges we face as writers. Anne's boggled my mind with all of the things that I should be doing to forward my career, at the cost of...writing time, so I found it very redemptive that the comment from the publicist was to just write.
I have been writing a lot lately, because I remembered how to get into the writing mind, or the writing state of mind (I've always liked the spacial resonances of that term, the vastness).
There are certain things I can do to bring myself to that state: reading, staring out the window, meditating, walking, swimming, reciting poetry, listening to Mozart or Finzi or Piazolla etc., looking at art and photography.
More important, though is what I must not do, lest I be exiled (to batter and abuse the metaphor further) from the writing state. I must not:
Answer the phone
Check my e-mail
Look at houses on Realtor.com
Purchase anything on Amazon
Listen to the news
Wear headphones when I run or walk (and bring paper or a tape recorder with me instead)
Listen to the radio when I'm driving
Yes, one does have to return calls, check e-mail, write their blog entries, send manuscripts out and try to promote them eventually. But none of these things should crowd into the writing space and time, which is sacred. None should come first. To write is to both receive and give. Water can only be poured into an empty vessel.
What interferes with your writing space and time? What helps you?