Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Write Time

by Joyce Tremel


I don’t know about the rest of you but I need more hours in the day. Is there someone we can petition about this? I’ve tried the Big Guy Upstairs, but He turned me down. Said I have to make do with what I have. If He wanted more than twenty four hours in a day, He’d have made them. After all, He created the entire universe in seven days, so I’ll just have to deal with it. Not exactly what I wanted to hear.

Most days, I do okay with the time allotted me. I get up, go to work, come home, make dinner, do dishes, laundry and whatever else needs done. If I’m lucky I can write for an hour. Lately though, that’s not good enough.

I want more time to write. Preferably uninterrupted time.

Here’s what usually happens: I’ll be immersed in writing a scene. I have the dialogue all worked out in my head. I know exactly what I want to write next. My fingers are flying over the keyboard. Then someone in my family has the nerve to talk to me. How dare they! And it’s usually something like, “Mom, did you see the cat?” or “Honey, remind me to move that money from savings to checking.” You get the idea. Whatever that next sentence was going to be is now gone forever.

I’ve taken to writing after everyone goes to bed, which works most nights. But some nights, I’m just too damned tired. Ten o’clock is late when the cat wakes me at five-thirty to get her food that she doesn’t eat anyway. Forget about writing that early in the morning. It’s gibberish at that hour.

Over the weekend, I made a lot of progress. I wrote almost ten pages on Sunday. I had some of that all-important uninterrupted time, so the words flowed. If I could do that every day, I’d be very happy. Unfortunately, my next two weekends are booked solid, so forget about that happening.

I’d like to hear how everyone else manages their time, especially those of you with jobs outside the home and families to take care of. (For anyone who thinks it’s easier when the kids get older—hah! Are you in for a surprise!) How do you squeeze in the time to write? And how do you keep from getting cranky when you don’t?

6 comments:

Judy Schneider said...

Joyce, I can't believe how much you accomplish in just one interrupted hour per day. You are living proof for the rest of us that if we can whittle away at our WIPs, a little at a time, we can see them through to the end. Thanks for the peek into your world.

P.S. My favorite interruption is, "Where'd you put the peanut butter?"

Kristine said...

Joyce, 10 pages on Sunday is a great accomplishment!

I think the best thing to do is to make use of the time you've got. Make every minute count, but don't forget to rest now and then. Can't be creative when those mental batteries are dead.

Tory said...

I think it's important to realize that, no matter how much time you have, you'll want more. When I realize that, I'm better able to keep it in perspective.

Annette said...

Joyce, even those of us who don't have day jobs can sympathize. There is never enough time, never enough hours. The fifteen months that my dad was in the nursing home, I felt like I had a full time job. I managed one hour a day of writing if I was lucky. I tried taking my laptop with me when I visited Dad, but that wasn't the best place for creativity to bloom. At best, I could keep up with my email there so at least I didn't have that to THAT do when I got home.

As for the alarm-clock cat...what's with that? I've got one of those, too. And no snooze button!

Joyce said...

Well, at least I know I'm not alone!

Like I said, most days I deal with the time issues. I just need to whine every now and then.

Annette, I don't even set the alarm anymore. Between the cat and my programmable coffeemaker that grinds the beans, I think I'm covered!

Pat said...

Unfortunately, I waste a lot of time procrastinating and doing everything but write. It's no wonder my family is shocked that I go she-ra on them when they interupt me; they just saw me spend a half an hour alphabetizing the spices before i foot dragged my way to the office.