Sunday, March 14, 2010

TimeTimeTime, See What You've Done to Me

First off, let me grouse again about this time-change thing.  Seriously, Mr. Franklin, what were you thinking?  Okay, so maybe this worked in the days when most people were employed in the farming industry, but it ain't necessary now.  Almost makes me want to move to Indiana or Arizona.  (Those lucky bastards don't have to spring forward or fall back.)

Okay enough about that.  Instead, it seems almost apropo this morning to talk about time.  I mean last night we gained an hour (or did we lose one... I always get confused about that).

Everything we do hinges on spurts of time.  Do I have time for this?  We don't have time for that.  Where did the time go?  Making time, taking time, borrowing time, losing time.  No wonder the rabbit up there looks freaked out.

And in all this, we writers scramble for the time to write - when so many other things in our lives demand our minutes.  School, work, family, exercise... just to name a few things in my life using up the precious ticks of my writerly clock.  Fitting it all in can be a harrowing experience.

One thing I picked up from the diet/exercise book I just finished reading, which I feel kind of dim for not realizing on my own, was that exercise is something that can be done throughout the day.  You don't have to limit yourself to one big block of time for the activity to make a difference.  Whatever you do, whenever you do it, you're burning calories.  (I mean, whatever you do that's more active than laying on the couch - unless you exercise while on the couch.)  It might not make you lose weight in a hurry, but every minute spent burning calories creeps you toward your goal.

It's the same with writing.  If life isn't letting you have your big block of writing time, then take little chunks wherever you can.  Ten minutes while the kids are getting dressed for school or an hour when the babies are napping, or fifteen minutes when the Daughter is taking a break between classes.  Even the half-hour when the cake is baking can be used to write - if you put the timer on so it doesn't burn.

Every minute spent hitting the keyboard creeps you closer toward your goal. 

And if you're feeling really spiffy, try to write and exercise at the same time with that nifty little gadget up there.  As soon as I can pull $35 out of my a... budget, I'm getting one.

So, do you find yourself trying to squeeze in a little writing between other things?  When do you have some spare minutes to write? 


  1. I do try to squeeze in a few minutes here and there, but it never seems to work. I mostly try this at school. However, since I always have so much to do there, Im either working or sleeping, LOL!

    I have gotten better at plotting/preparing the story at school though. Just because Im too tired to write doesn't mean I cant lay there and think ;)

  2. I can see how excercising in spurts can be effective. However, when I tried to write in short intervals, I ended up frustrated. It never failed, just when the words were flowing I had to stop.

    I've since learned that I need at least two or three hours to organize my thoughts and write them down. Just goes to show that each writer's creative process is different.

  3. Way to go, Natalie! Any writing you can get done with your schedule is awesome. =o)

    Exactly, Andrea. Everyone's got to approach this writing thing the best way they can. Do what you can, when you can, whatever way you can. =o)

  4. I've burned more dinners because the timer went off - and got ignored. But I wrote lots of words on those days.

    That's not a problem with exercise. I'm ready to quit long before the timer is.

  5. LOL, Deb. I learned the hard way I can't write and cook dinner at the same time. Baked goods work better for me, and I'm lucky Daughter is around to nudge me if I get lost in the words.