Time is of the Essence

Well actually, essence is of the time.  If you don’t set aside time for writing, you won’t write.  It’s the same for reading, catching a movie, doing laundry, exercising, or seeing friends.  Each activity requires a little scheduling into an otherwise busy day.

If you’re not a prolific writer, then you may have trouble scheduling these blocks of time.  After all, what will you write about?  Then panic sets in and the time approaches and you can’t get any words down at all… until your writing window is up and you’re about to head to sleep, and then your mind goes wild with ideas.

Risking a run-in with Captain Obvious… We’re all different.  We all have techniques that work for us but for no one else, or vice versa.  Invariably, my ideas spring up after a three day weekend, a half hour after I should have gone to bed, which is already a mere six hours before I have to wake for work.  There isn’t time then to squeeze in a half hour of writing, yet for me, it actually is.  I have often found that getting the ideas written down calms the rush in the moment without creating the massive traffic jam of creativity.

Set aside a block of time, even if it’s just a few nights a week and write something.  You could even just write a list of other topics you want to write about later, so you don’t forget.  But train yourself to use that time slot wisely.  It may be rough at first and the blank page or screen may mock you, but perseverance will prevail.

I’m a notoriously bad sleeper.  I used to think my middle name was Insomnia.  One piece of advice from a sleep therapist was setting a routine.  And wouldn’t you know it, the body can be taught.  Floss, brush, rinse isn’t enough of a routine, yet even Monty, my orange kitty, recognizes the pattern and he follows me with wide eyes until I head for the bedroom to set the AC or to dim the light and put on some calm music.  He then joins in and watches Cat TV, a.k.a. the window, while I twist and turn in seemingly vain attempts to get comfortable, and once I stop moving, he relocates himself to the crook of a knee and then I feel like I can’t disturb him, so I remain still, and I do fall asleep.  Ok, so maybe it’s his routine I’m following, not mine, but whatever works, right?

Practice your writing routine for even a half hour a few times a week, and soon when you sit down at that time, your brain will remember the lush visuals in your mind.  You’ll suddenly craft new worlds with luminescent leaves and fruit that change color depending on the mood you’re in when you pluck it from the singing branches.  Don’t let a gleaming field of endless snow, that blank screen/page, get the better of you.  If your heart wants to write, your brain will let you.  In time.

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