Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Time...or The Lack Thereof

Do you ever feel that time is standing still? Or maybe passing you by?  Sometimes when I'm immersed in my writing and oblivious to whatever is going on in the house, I think that time is standing still.  That when I'm finished or at a stopping place, I will still have the number of hours left in the day that I need to carry out those pesky little chores I still need to do.  Like...cooking dinner...only to find that it's after 6 o'clock and my husband, Corgi, Himalayan cat and both parrots are staring at me like I've been on a different planet.

Then there are those days when I don't have time to write, other than maybe a few minutes, and I feel that I'm being left behind, that the writing world is passing me by and I can do nothing to stop the inexorable passage of hours and days.

So what can we do to "fix" this problem?  I say "we" because I'm sure that I'm not the only one who feels this.  I'm sure that those of you who have outside jobs, children, houses and husbands to take care of feel this way all the time.  I think I'm in very good company!

Someone wrote recently on a blog about scheduling your time.  Being organized.  All I have to say to that is...HA!  I was far more organized and able to schedule my time when I was teaching full time at the university, teaching painting privately, and running a Appaloosa horse ranch where my husband and I bred and trained Appaloosa horses for the show ring.

Today I am retired, and schedules and organization seem to be a thing of the past.  I was just looking for a particular folder, and was frustrated because I couldn't find it.  Why?  Because yesterday I spend several hours "organizing" my desk, and putting papers and notes and synopses and print-outs of articles and research all into nice, new, pastel colored folders.  Now I can't find a single thing.  So much for organization.

Scheduling is the same kind of problem.  I can 'schedule' my writing time to be from 12 noon to 4PM any day in the week.  Until the dog needs to go to the vet, my husband has a meeting to go to but he can't drive for another 3 weeks, or my sister-in-law calls from Idaho and wants to talk...for an hour.  Schedules go out the window, and I think longingly of the days when I was so busy that schedules were as much a part of my day as breakfast.  And furthermore, they didn't get interrupted.

So when you get frustrated because you can't "find the time" to write, just chalk it up to one of life's little quirks that we have to live with, get the laundry done, plan your meal for dinner, pick up the kids from school and then threatened them with their lives if they so much as utter your name for the next 30 minutes, and sit down and WRITE !  We CAN 'find' the time, but don't bother trying to schedule it or organize the family so you can find it.  You are familiar with that old saying, "The best laid plans...?"  Never has it applied to anything the way it applies to a writer's life.

Just take the bits and pieces of time wherever they may fall, and give silent thanks for that much as you put those prize-winning ideas into the computer.  Take those blessed days when you think that time is actually standing still, and run with them.  Just be prepared to have a really good excuse when you open the study door and fine 4 or 5 sets of eyes looking at you reproachfully.  And on those days when you think time is passing you by, remember that it's not really, it's just giving you a very good reason to spend time with your family...or...the laundry...or the marketing...or...

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