Whenever I struggle to find time to write, Virginia Woolf’s quote floats through my mind:
The melodramatic girl inside me says, Yes, it is so true. That and that alone is keeping me from achieving my dreams! (*back of hand to forehead, fainting couch nearby)
Luckily, that other girl inside me (the scary drill sergeant one) clocks her on the head with a heavy, blunt object and everyone keeps on keeping on. Because even if I only have moments, moments do add up.
Submitted for your consideration, here is a list of the places I have written:
- A coffee shop at lunch hour
- In my bed
- In someone else’s bed!
- At a restaurant
- At a hotel
- Driving, via voice recorder
- On my living room couch
- On your living room couch!
- In a tent
- Bathroom stall
You get the picture.
Bottom line is you have to have time, you have to have space, to hone your craft. I get it. Money allows you freedom from the eight-hour work day. A room of your own offers you a distraction-free space you can dedicate to your work, a place to allow that creative nutjob inside you to run free, break furniture, fall to pieces on the page and gather herself back up again. A writing oasis, if you will.
I like to think I can create that on my own, in the middle of my busy life, at any time.
Buddhist monks have trained themselves to raise their body heat by intent alone. It’s true! Human beings are capable of amazing things, but amazing things are only accomplished by discipline and persistence.
I’ve gotten to the point where I can walk in and sit in the corner of my Monday-night writing spot, open my laptop, and pour forth words. I’ve done the same thing for two years. Ordered the same tomato feta soup and field greens salad and glass of malbec (okay, glasses). We are creatures of habit. When we’re comfortable, things around us fall away and we can concentrate, single-mindedly, on our work.
So yeah, at this time in my life that’s what it boils down to: finding pockets of time and filling them with words. Eventually, maybe I will have a room of my own (HA!), and maybe I will have money (HA!) but until then, millions of writers have made it work with dedication and discipline alone, and I’m okay with that, because that drill sergeant inside me with the blunt object? She wants to rule the world, and she’s pretty relentless.