October is rapidly coming to an end and in less than a week Nanowrimo begins. My goals for October remain unmet and the overwhelming feeling that there just aren’t enough hours in the day still remains.
Last week, I went into Barnes and Nobles and bought two books about writing. I also fell back in love with bookstores and felt a tinge of hurt at the realization that in a year or two, the Barnes and Nobles by my job will soon be replaced by a retail store. And at the very same time, I had flashbacks to when I was younger and our Saturday trips to the mall meant spending an hour in Waldenbooks (which no longer exists) as my mother tried to find a good book to read and fill her afternoons and evenings with, while I perused shelves for interesting reads. Needless to say, I think I’m ready to welcome my daughter to the world of reading and hours spent at a bookstore as we look through shelves of books for the perfect story to read as we curl up in bed. But I digress. Of the two books I purchased for myself, one was about how to write a novel in 30 days (quite perfect considering how close Nanowrimo is to starting). As I was reading through it or rather flipping through pages of it, I realized that the one thing that stood out most to me was that the concept of time was never addressed, at least not in terms of actually composing a piece, as much as how to make sure you get it all done in a month or less. I couldn’t find one spot in the entire book in which the author demanded that I drop everything and write for 30-45 minutes a day to ensure that I had enough for a novel at the end of the 30 days. Not once did the author break down how I should utilize the time available to me in the day to accomplish this goal, nor how I could make time in my day for writing. The entire book was structured on what I should dedicate each day of writing to, not how long I should be writing each day.
I’ve read my fair share of articles about writing and how a person should write for at least 15 minutes a day or more. Yet, none of them attest to where I would find these 15 minutes to write or how I could effectively utilize these 15 minutes. The only real advice I have ever encountered when it came to writing was that I should just write. Which, quite honestly, is a lot easier said than done.
Prior to working at my current job, I worked part-time in an after school setting. The four hours I spent at work opened up an abundance of time for me to not only get my homework done, but also get writing done. I was writing short stories and working on novel ideas as if it was my life mission. I came home with all my energy intact and stayed up late finishing whatever I needed to finish, as well as waking in the mornings and finishing what I needed to finish before leaving in the afternoon to trek it to work. I had nothing but time and I didn’t need to read articles or buy books to assist me with writing.
Now, I’m up early in the morning trekking to work with little to no time to just sit and write or even think to myself. Work is consuming and the few moments that I do find myself inspired to write and jotting things down, I then spend the rest of the day trying to account for that loss of time. And when I get home, I’m so exhausted, all I want to do is climb into bed and lazily stare at the TV until it watches me fall asleep. Unfortunately, I never can, cause I have a four year who has homework that she needs to complete, needs to be fed, and get ready for bed. I have parents that not only want to ask me about my day, but are very interested in telling me about their day, and then asking me to do things for themselves. And lastly, a boyfriend who just wants an ounce of my attention because he hasn’t been able to have it since I left for work in the morning. This is not me complaining about my current schedule and wishing that all of this would stop, but me noting that life has I’ve known it has changed. And when you throw in my school work, that available time I have in the evenings, just continues to shrink.
Honestly, I miss writing. I miss composing new pieces. I’ve never been a fan of editing, but I’m just about tired of editing older pieces I have to save face for the fact that I haven’t composed an actual piece in almost a year. The writing exercises my boyfriend and I give each other, I generally rush through or ask for extensions on because I just haven’t gotten around to them. So they are filled with errors that could have easily been avoided. The craft that I am so good at, I’m letting fall by the wayside for more important things, which in the grand scheme of things, aren’t all that important considering they make seasonal depression harder to deal with than it should be.
I just need more time. An additional hour added to the day at least. A few minutes in which I can focus entirely on writing, without distractions or this compulsion to just fall asleep.
October is ending and I’m no closer to finishing that piece that I’ve been quietly composing in my head, that hasn’t made its way onto paper yet, then I was when the month first began. I’m officially 26 days late on creating a new piece and I have no motivation to begin it or even try to finish it before the 31st.