If I asked when is my time to write, I’d have had an answer–at least I used to have the answer. I had my daily plan set up so that I wrote from ten in the morning to twelve noon and from three in the afternoon to four thirty. These weren’t and still aren’t the only times I write, of course, but when I had a full schedule, it was these blocks of time that stayed in place.
At the worst, that’s the way it was supposed to be Monday through Friday. In spite of all the precautions I took to keep myself adhered to an agenda, I lost sight of these appointed times. The infernal phone blared its ring at ten thirty in the morning, just as I’d begin to feel myself getting submersed in the scene I was working on that day. Another intrusion was calls I’ve been obliged to make that are expected at a specific time. Where my writing time was had been playing havoc with other parts of my life.
Yes, I’ve already discussed the possibilities in previous posts about alleviating these times on the phone. However, how does one tell her aging mother not to expect a call that coincides with elderly woman’s schedule? How does one tell her son to find another more convenient time to call when he’s feeling so alone? These people are dear loved ones who should be given the ultimate of consideration.
I can only assume that my plight is trivial to what many writers contend with on a daily basis. After all, I don’t have a job other than household duties to take up my time during the bulk of the day. Many writers are juggling a job outside the home, household chores, and a family of at least three or more. I’m past all that, commencing upon my senior years. My spouse is usually willing to work around my schedule when he’s home.
I had set up these morning and afternoon sessions at those specific times as a result of my determination of when I was feeling the most creative and productive. It had been taking me a while to awake fully in the mornings regardless of the fact I’m usually out of bed by six o’clock. I didn’t feel capable of intelligently tackling my WiP until two large mugs of coffee had been poured down my throat and I had a shower.
Yet, in the past few weeks, I’ve found myself writing as early as eight thirty, which is just twenty minutes after my husband leaves for work. By the time ten thirty or eleven rolls around, I’m ready for a substantial break, which is when I can take and give those calls the attention they deserve. This also means I’m not sloughing over chores like I used to do trying to get back to my WiP. I can usually resume my position at the keyboard by one or one thirty in the afternoon, giving myself at least another hour I didn’t have before so I can switch gears to start fixing dinner.
The days when this schedule doesn’t work is when I have appointments or when it’s the weekend. Therefore, I still lose time at the keyboard. I’m beginning to think of these intervals as creativity recharging stretches. It’s remarkable how a purposeful change in attitude can change many things all the way around. Although I still feel the pull to my desk on these days, I’m also more aware of the increased inspirational level when I finally get my butt in the chair.
As I sit here writing this out, it occurs to me that this recent revision of general mood may also be associated with the time of year. The sun comes up earlier and vanishes later. The scenery outside isn’t that drab depressing gray and brown. Color does make such a difference.
I was contemplating putting a calendar on the wall behind my computer desk, but after this minor epiphany, maybe a Monet knockoff would be more instrumental for my sessions with my WiP. I suspect this may be more important than what it appears to be. If I had the money for a laptop, I could take my writing almost anywhere. I could enjoy the sunshine and soak up some vitamin D while I type away. True, I could do the same with pen and notebook too, but I probably wouldn’t be able to read my own handwriting. Monet is one of my favorite artists. I find most of his work whimsical and bright. Having a cheap copy of one of his paintings on the wall I face when I work is bound to have a marvelous effect on my spirit as I pound on the keys.
Where is your writing time? Have you kept your writing schedule the same, or have you changed it as your life has changed?
“The greatest discovery of our generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind. As you think, so shall you be.” — William James