On Writing and Time

Distant screaming in my head. That’s all I can hear as I stir slowly awake from sleep to start the day. The light barely visible through my window, the screaming, I come to realize is my alarm blaring in the distance. Why did I set it to ascending? Do I really enjoy gradual yelling? I stare at the ceiling, annoyed as I reach for my phone and contemplate the possibility of abusing the snooze feature. Some days, I imagine that the only option for motion this early in the AM is an indelicate face plant on the floor. Just roll right off, the thud jarring me, I no longer have the choice to remain in bed or an excuse to sleep more. Through very little effort  I’d achieve the hardest step, though perhaps sore, I would then crawl my way through to the next proceeding ritual.

 

FullSizeRenderI’ve been told i’m not a morning person, I’m sure even you’ve come to that conclusion. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that without coffee, I would become a snarling beast of a half-human; the hunchback of Toronto, barely functional until that blessed cup touches my lips, dissipating the mind fog as I consume the heady brew. I’d like to believe my description is an exaggeration but I’ve come to terms- my crutch and I, we know well the roles we each play in my day.

Due to the recent demands of my day job bleeding into my evenings, the time which I designated as my writing hours evaporated, leaving me struggling to find moments to pursue my craft. I decided one day, on a particularly aggravating evening that every night I would adjust my alarm to wake a bit earlier. The goal: to find the right “magic” hour that would allow me to get some of my work done before I headed to my job. I knew the odds were against me, yet I tried and I was unsuccessful. I became frustrated with my inability to rise and my miscalculation in assuming that the dangling carrot of word progression would be enough to awaken my sleeping form. After a week of hit and misses, I decided to redefine where I could tackle my creative work and become more flexible with my time.

Although I use technology in every aspect of my life, I often forget that devices,  mobile and compact, can be a writing tool used anywhere I go. I focused the following week on making my creative space more transportable, playing music that set the tone, making sure I wasn’t in a rush and tried to create an environment in my mind that I could produce a sentence or two.  I had more success and less self-induced stress from this small change. Writing on my commute, I can’t help but have low expectations given the location I am trying to create, but the exercise in and of itself helped me to learn to be more adaptive in my writing pursuits.

As I continue to work away at my first draft and other writing projects, I recognize the struggle to find enough time between my day job, life responsibilities and the procrastinating she-devil that lurks under my desk. I think we all, at some point in our writing journey, have struggled to find ways to keep our writing on track.Sometimes distractions speak louder than inspiration. But as I write this, I feel motivation and drive become fuelled by my tiny daily efforts which I’ve come to realize and accept that they sometimes have to be enough.

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