Monday, June 18, 2012

Time oh time, where art thou?

I just finished reading Stephen King's book On Writing. It was excellent. I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in writing and/or learning more about Stephen King. There is solid information on the craft of writing woven into an entertaining tale of his life, from his boyhood through the many stages of his writing career. It is part memoir, part handbook and I loved it all. Buy it. Read it. You will not be sorry.

Mr. King... and his little dog, too!

There was only one part of the book that left me feeling.... isolated or disconnected? I'm not sure. But when I stepped back and thought about it, I know that I am probably not isolated in this feeling of disconnect at all. In fact, I am most likely the majority. In On Writing, Mr. King talks about scheduling TIME to write. He sets aside every morning to write. Then his afternoons are for naps and letters, followed by family time in the evening. Doesn't that sound dreamy? In my (our) current world of over scheduling, sleep deprivation and constant distraction, I find TIME to be the main thing that I dream about, drool over and desire (step aside, Mr. Jackman). I recently "got away" from my house, the kids and the seemingly constant chores of my life and spent one night in a friend's cabin in the mountains. I took my laptop with every intention to write. Do you know what I did? I hiked (because I need nature and exercise to recharge my batteries) and then I slept. Then I ate and slept some more because this momma is apparently pooped.

Then my family showed up and all opportunity to write vanished, as did my hopes of showering alone, exercising, having a quiet moment to think or sleeping past 6 am.

I actually have a story in my head that I would LOVE to puke out into a book. What I do NOT seem to have, is the time to sit and write it.

I know what you are thinking, Yet you sit and write this crap, Johi. So THERE is your time. True. I have been finding the time to write on this blog about one day a week. I spend maybe an hour plunking out extremely unedited versions of the shit that floats around in my head. One hour a week. One... hour... a... week.
At this pace, I would be 876 years old by the time I finish my book.

So here is what I propose to the universe: you show me the time, give me the funds (hello housekeeper and part-time nanny?), and I will write down more of the glorious shit that is floating around in my head so that the world can be graced with something that I will refer to as My Book. Until then, I would actually love to have a conversation with Tabitha King, Stephen's wife, as to how her writing career went while she was raising the kids, doing the laundry and scraping the oatmeal off the floor from underneath the dining table.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have dog shit to remove, clothes to fold, dishes to wash, more laundry to rewash because as soon as I hung it to dry the smoke from the High Park Fire shifted and engulfed our house, floors to sweep, furniture to dust, groceries to purchase, meals to prepare, gardens to water and toilets to clean. I guess I should go to (see K? I read your Christmas letter)and spend two hours reading about how to get it all done with a smile on my face, great shoes on my feet and love in my heart.

Seriously, I probably will, because so far the highlight of my day has been blowing kisses to Thing 2 and watching Thing 1 sound out words in a book, which are pretty good highlights, but I still want some part of my day to be about me. ME ME ME! Because if I get this time FOR me, YOU will get something (pretty awesome, I'm certain) FROM me.

Wish me luck and may the Time Fairies bring a little something extra, just for each of us, but mostly for me because I'm kind of a fucker like that.

My chores are calling and I still haven't showered.

Peace and Love,


  1. The awesome thing about writing is... there is no right or wrong way to write. Some people methodically set up charts and alone time and use timers for their "free writes." Others vomit their writing. More like a binge and purge process. I read a story about how one author would hole herself up in the house for 4-days without sleeping and just write - magical, fabulous words that sold books. It's okay that you're not Stephen King.

    PS: Some people clean a little bit each day. Others don't do jack shit until Sunday night and then knock it out of the park. We're all different.

    1. I am definitely feeling a little frustrated with my lack of time management? I could clean all day, every day, and my kids and dogs (and husband) could come in and destroy it all within a 20 minute time span. I'm seriously not kidding. And I'm not OCD. I just don't think that I should be scraping crusty OMGwhatisTHAT? off of Eleanor on a daily basis.

  2. Shower? Oh, are you supposed to do that, like. . .EVERY day? Oh, shit. I hear ya on the time thing; now that the short people have gotten all attached to the whole food & shelter thing they expect it every damned day. What's up with that?

  3. Well, OBVIOUSLY you need that nanny and housekeeper!! You deserve it, girl.

    I think you just need to find a way to make it work for you. It doesn't have to be ole Stevie's way. I mean, he's ridiculously wealthy with all the time in the world on his hands. Of course he has all day to write and nap and frolick with his family.

    For you, you just have to find a way if you want it to happen. I think we all struggle with time. Right now I'm trying to catch up with my bloggy buddies, watching some shows I recorded, hang out with my kid and hubs and stay awake after having practically no sleep last night. And I get to get up tomorrow super early, go to work & be in court most the day, and try desperately to find some time tomorrow to bang out another post to go up on Wednesday. Add that to grocery shopping, dinner, laundry, dishes and bedtime, and I need another 5 or 6 hours. It's tiring and sometimes I think I will never get any of it done. Sigh. But somehow you just keep going and eventually get it all done. Not sure how. I think I need another me

    1. I hear you loud and clear. I actually took tonight "Off" from cooking (It was 100 degrees today, who needs to eat, really?) and have locked myself in the spare room for an hour and a half. I just wrote for AN HOUR AND A HALF.
      GO me!
      Now I want a glass of wine and I need to stop looking at the computer screen. :)
      I scaled back on the blog here because of those feelings of not wanting to let people down. It is self imposed pressure and it is too much. Forget about it. I figure once a week is fine. I've found that I really don't have much to say lately anyway, and I don't have time to draw right now, so... I hope people still like me. What's not to like- right? :)
      Whenever I think of cloning myself (or Brock), I think of the movie Multiplicity. "I've got a wallet" "I like Pizza."

  4. Since I am writing this comment at almost 2 in the morning, time management is obviously a mystery to me. However, as a teacher with summers off, I use my most productive time to write. 6 pm to 1 am, baby. But that took me almost 2 years to write an 86 page "novel". Who needs sleep anyway????

    1. Unfortunately I need sleep. I'm so weak! Ha! Is your novel published?

  5. I love that book, but it's been years since I read it (guess I know what I'm reading next).

    I did the NaNoWriMo thing last year (you know, write a book in a month), and I realized I had to set aside an hour and a half every day to get my words out. This meant I no longer cooked dinner, barely ate dinner, did not watch TV, and stopped cleaning.

    What...? That does too take an hour and a half. I didn't just use it as an excuse.

    Basically, though, you will need to give up having a clean house and feeding your family, and you'll be golden on the book writing thing.

  6. Ooooo, I'm going to get this book. I love King! But damn him and his dreamy life where he has TIME to do something he loves doing. And damn him for getting PAID to do something he loves. :/

    1. I read all of his work up until 93 or 94 and for some stupid reason I haven't picked one up since. I'll blame college textbooks for eating brain cells.... It was a really great read and it has not only inspired me to get more serious about writing, but also to pick up another one of his more recent books. Suggestions?

  7. Hearing that sugar!! Although I don't have children. But my job rapes the majority of my awake time. I just realised I haven't posted in nearly 2 weeks. Boo me.

    1. Damn jobs. If we all worked less and created more, think how beautiful the world would be. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go and feed my unicorns.

  8. Love you Johi! I now have to remove the coffee residue from inside my nose....

    and then go shine my sink because you made me feel guilty. :)