Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Finding the Time

“Where do you find the time???”

As a SAH mom who works from home, this is the question I’m often asked by relatives and non-writing friends. (I like to think my writer friends don’t ask me this because they know the answer as well as I do). I don’t “find” the time. I make it.

You know what they say about the best laid plans, but some days it works out. The alarm goes off at the crack of dawn, and instead of frittering time away tidying the kitchen or doing laundry, I actually make it to the computer and sit down to write. Sure, there are days when life intrudes; kids get sick, work piles up or the words simply won’t come. But there are other days; days when the words won’t stop and I have to tear myself away from the keyboard. I feel so great when that happens; it means I’ve accomplished something, that I made time to do something that gives me joy (you mom’s out there know what I’m talking about) But the downside is that the rest of the day my mind is somewhere else. I may be stopped at a red light or shopping for groceries or scraping dried-on oatmeal off the kitchen floor, but my mind is in Texas, circa 1883, with a hero with a fast gun and a heroine with an even faster temper.

For me, when it comes to writing, it’s all about the characters. Jodi Thomas once said (and this is not an exact quote since I don’t have it right in front of me) “I never know who’s going to walk into my brain, pull up a chair and start talking to me.” Boy was I relieved when I heard that --I’m normal after all (well, the dh would argue whether we writers are “normal”, but that’s a whole ‘nother blog). But when that happens it’s impossible not to write. I have to get to the computer, or a scrap of paper – a napkin, anything-- and get the words down. I simply have to. That’s something non-writers probably wouldn’t understand. And that’s okay; I’ve never been compelled to knit a scarf or crochet a baby blanket, but I know lots of people who have. It’s just that the creative side of my brain takes me in a different direction. I never know what will spark something in my brain and have me running to the internet or the library to track down some tiny tidbit of historical information that will germinate into my next plot or story idea. All I know is I can’t rest until I’ve uncovered every last detail.

And finding the time to do all of that can be really difficult around kids and a husband and a house and a job… it can be difficult even if you juggle even one or two of those things. That’s why I don’t “find” the time. I make it.

Next time this “easterner who writes westerns” (as I have been called) will speak on “the cowboy mystique” – what is it about those handsome heroes on horseback that makes us swoon?

1 comment:

Susan Macatee said...

This was great. I remember those days when my boys were young. I'd dabbled in writing in college and still had the urge, but in those days I was lucky if I could manage to finish reading a magazine article. There just didn't seem to be any time where I didn't have constant interruptions. It wasn't until my youngest started Kindergarten that I was able to get pen to paper long enough to write more than my shopping list.