The Goddamned Writing Life: A Question of Time

This year, I can honestly say I have never been happier that the holidays are over. That’s no mean feat, either. When I was in grad school, especially when I was teaching, I never really got to enjoy that thing called the Holiday Season. I was always trying desperately to get all my grades in before zero hour at whatever college or university I was working at. Once grades were done, I usually had somewhere between two and four days to shop and wrap and prepare to leave to visit family, usually my parents. Now, though, I’m a mom and not a teacher. Moms are required to come up with special memories for their kids: making lists for Santa Claus and decorating Christmas trees and baking cookies and whatnot. I didn’t get the cookie-baking done this year, but we did manage to get a Christmas tree together and play some festive music. For a few minutes, at least, the first floor of our house managed not to look like a closet.

Now, it’s time to put the holidays away in the Fickle-Spacetime household. We should have our tree up for a few days more. That’s always nice. I have a hard time letting go of things, and our tree is especially pretty this year, with its new string of jewel-tone lights and all the cute retro ornaments. Once again, our dining room table looks like it belongs in the post office. Once again, there are heaps and heaps of boxes and toys everywhere. But hey, there’s always crap to clean. Now, thank God, there’s finally time to write!

Right?

Yeah, that’s the thing about writing. Even when you have time, there’s never enough time to do what you want to do, finish what you want to finish. That’s the way it’s always been for me. When there’s no time, I grumble about how many projects I want to start, how many books I want to read, how much research I could get done. When there is any little amount of time, the pressure to use those free moments, that half a day, that couple of hours together late at night, increases exponentially. One story isn’t enough–no, I have to draft five story ideas, or maybe I should be looking into that poetry contest I saw when I was dicking around on Twitter (because I’m too nervous to do any writing). Which path should I follow? Why am I so freaking slow?

Somebody, for the love of God, TELL ME WHAT I SHOULD BE DOING WITH MY TIME!!!!

In a perfect universe, we’d have some sort of button we could press that would stop the universe while we completed every project we felt the urge to complete. But then that probably would mean all writers would simply disappear from existence, because we’d all be sitting in our chronos-immune chambers frantically scribbling and pacing and bitching to one another via ansible that there’s just not enough non-time in our time-suspended states to really get anything done. And then we’d poke around until we could find an old version of Minesweeper and fritter away our lives until we forgot what brilliant works we were supposed to be creating.

Yeah, I think it’s time to do some serious frittering right about now. Goodnight, Internet world!

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2 responses to “The Goddamned Writing Life: A Question of Time

  1. In my perfect world, i would either come up with brilliant ideas on Saturday mornings, giving me hours to write, not right before I fall asleep.

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