Don't Give Yourself Away, Make 'Em Pay

Don't Give Yourself Away, Make 'Em Pay

Dear Mr. X, I hope you can understand if I decline your offer. You see, I feel it is sort of like asking Meryl Streep to audition for a Sharknado sequel. I'm not saying she wouldn't agree to do the movie - I wouldn't dare to speak for Meryl - but asking an actor of her experience and caliber to audition for a film her repertoire shows she is clearly capable of handling is just poor form.

Q & A with Diane Schoemperlen

I've started a little series where I ask writers about the writing life.  Author and artist Diane Schoemperlen starts us off with some insight into the importance of routine.

Q: How important is it to you to set a scheduled time to write?

A: I am a wreck without my routine! It has developed over thirty years of writing and without it, I don’t think I could function. I am a morning person and every day (including weekends) I get up early and do some reading with my coffee. Then I must get right to work. If I don’t, I find I am exceptionally good at frittering the whole day away. I am at the computer by 9:00 a.m. at the latest. How long I actually work depends on the project. It can be anywhere from four to six hours at a stretch. On an ideal day the work period is then followed by a nap. But this doesn’t happen very often. Usually it is followed by errands, chores, and tending to the business of writing (as opposed to the actual writing.) I often work seven days a week. I only work in the evening under duress as that is my time to relax and recharge so I can do it all again tomorrow.

More about Diane...

Diane Schoemperlen is the author of twelve books, including three novels, one non-fiction book, and several collections of short stories. In 1998 she won the Governor-General’s Award for Fiction for her collection of illustrated stories, FORMS OF DEVOTION. In 2008 she received the Marian Engel Award from The Writers’ Trust of Canada. In 2012 she was writer-in-residence at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. She is currently on the faculty of the Humber School of Writing Correspondence Program. Her most recent publication is BY THE BOOK: STORIES AND PICTURES, published by Biblioasis (Windsor, Ontario) in September 2014. She is currently working on a memoir to be published by HarperCollins Canada in April 2016. She lives in Kingston, Ontario. You can find her on Facebook and she has a website coming soon at