11 May 2007

Finding time

It's been a frustrating few weeks in terms of writing: student assignments to mark, tests to write. But that all finished on Tuesday night when I finished my twelve-hour stint at work. Wednesday mornings are always a wasteland, and this week was worse than usual because I've come down with a dreaded lurgy. A head cold. Bleuck. I don't mind chest colds when I bark and bark, but a head cold with sinus pain... Bleuck.

Anyway, we had no writer's group meeting, and I was all set to do a final proof on Poetrix, and write up the contents page, and then sit down to write when the phone went. Princess Sleepyhead was sick and could I please come to school to pick her up. Now, admittedly, she had been sick since Monday night, but as they were doing AIMS tests at school (statewide Maths and Literacy tests that students do in Years 3, 5, 7 & 9) she had to go to school. The way AIMS tests work are you either do them on the day, or you don't. There's no-come-back-later-when-you're-feeling-better-and-do-it-then contingency. It's do or die. And she had to do. Much to her disgust.

So, by this time I was feeling worse: she went to bed, and so did I. So she was home all day Thursday. I sat down to write several times, but things cropped up. She needed something. The phone rang. And rang again. And again. I gritted my teeth. Because I hadn't written for several days, I had come out of the story, and all I needed was some time to reimmerse myself, to sink back into its depths. In the end I made a start and wrote about 500 words, which I consider a very poor day's work, when I'm writing. I tried to console myself that today was the day. She had a special day on at school, where they were going rock-climbing, and I would have the house to myself. Wrong.

Today, the Gadget Man, also struck down with it, stayed home. Princess Sleepyhead's school rang at 1 pm to come get her, and then Sir Talkalot rang to say he wasn't feeling well and wouldn't be able to make the bus home so could I please come and get him? Double growl. So instead of being home alone with all day to write, I was up and down to schools, with three sickies home (and me not much better). But, and this is a big BUT, I did manage to squeeze out over 2,500 words, so am feeling a bit less frustrated. But the weekend will be a write-off, what with Mother's Day and all. (Means driving all over the place.) And I have to work Monday, which I don't usually have to do. But I will squeeze in some more words -- here and there in the spaces between events, between shopping and taxiing and doing all the things I have to do. Because that's how it is for most of us who don't write full-time. There's no great slab of hours, just small moments. But filling these with words will pick away at that total. Writers write. We do it when we can, as best we can, because that's what we do.

1 comment:

Sherryl said...

That's absolutely right. Leave the computer running, ban anyone from touching it, and grab those bits of ten or fifteen minutes every chance you get. If you're thinking about the current scene all day, you'll find when you sit down, it will just come.