Wednesday, May 19, 2010

It's 3:22pm

I have eight minutes until I walk out my front door into the not-quite blazing sun and walk my puppy up to the corner to welcome my son off the bus. In eight minutes, the part of the day where I get things done ends, and the part of the day where the house explodes in a fountain of papers and books and endless chatting and defrosted meat begins. By 3:30, I already have to surrender getting anything else for myself done.

It's now 3:24. I have my Word document open and my story has been buzzing along. I like it. I'm not having trouble writing. There are, of course, the niggling doubts that seem to hover when I get going too well on something. After all, if I'm writing, it must be bad, right? The only good writing I do is in my head.

But nevertheless, I ignore the voice that tells me my main character is swinging wildly from love to hate like a woman in menopause. I like her. I like the way she is changing. I know whatever is wrong with the mood swings can be fixed on revisions.

I have made notes as I go about what I want to write but don't want to break from the chapter to do. Conversations I realize I need in the last chapter. Details in the next. For the last fifteen minutes I've been typing well, and am half-way to my goal for the day.

Now it is 3:28 and I stare at the page where I know what I want to write, where I like what I am writing, and find my fingers gradually grazing the mouse button, switching screens to check email, to re-read a blog, update a twitter. I check Amazon. I watch the clock on my laptop tick another minute off.

I'm down to one minute. I could still eek out a few words. Words which would come easily if I just stayed on the document.

I want to write, but my mind is floating elsewhere, as though it knows the end is coming anyway and I should just surrender now. I had eight minutes and I squandered every one of them. Though I like the book, though I love writing, though I like this scene and know where it's going...

still my mind wandered off into a different screen, out into the vast internet, meandering lazily.

And now the precious minutes are gone.


  1. Oh!! I'm sooo glad I'm not the only one :0)

  2. Darnit, that crap happens to me too!

    Only now I've got a little baby demanding attention and not two boisterous hairless cats and a neglected husband. :-D

    I feel you. Totally.


  3. I just left myself some notes in the midst of revision and am off spend time with my boys.

  4. Does this ever sound familiar!! Well, it used to before they all grew up and left home :) Now I have no one to blame for my procrastination but myself.

  5. It happens to me every single day! Squandering the few minutes between things that you can actually use is something so familiar to all of us. If only I could add all those minutes up and use them in one go...

  6. Yep, here I am in blog land instead of writing :-)

  7. I've felt that same way often when I write on Saturdays when my husband is out of the house. I watch the clock, knowing if I am at a good place, I will have to shut down soon and it is hard!

  8. Great post. It makes me even more thankful that you took a moment and left a comment on my blog. Thank you :)

  9. Yep...It's 6:07...I should be cooking dinner, but I'm dare I say it...reading blogs. It's a good thing my hubby won't be home for dinner. :)

  10. It happens to me every single day! Squandering the few minutes
    data entry work from home

  11. wow, this was such a beautiful, poetic, and simultaneously realistic post. thanks so much for sharing.

    my fingers are crossed for your success!!