Time is getting away from me today, so I'm revisiting a post about. . .time.
Time is such a funny concept.
About a million years ago, there was daytime and nighttime. That was it. It didn't really matter what hour of the day it was, so long as you did the daytime things while there was light, and you accomplished the things NOT requiring light when it was nighttime.
I guess at some point somebody needed to know precisely which hour of the day it was--maybe to make sure there actually were twenty-four of them. So, to keep track of time, clocks were invented. It gave us a sense of mastery over time, since we had smooshed it into a box and given it a face with Roman numerals on it--all so we could verify which hour we were using at the precise moment we used it.
Imagine the luxury of compressing time into a pocketwatch, or a wristwatch, so that all the minutes and hours of the day could be transported wherever you went. That invention gave time even more prominence, because now we constantly consult the clock to see how little time we have left to finish an important task, or before we dash off for an appointment. At work, we watch the clock, wishing it would zoom through the hours so we could go home sooner. We glare at our watch while sitting in a traffic jam, blaming the timekeeper for making everything stand still when we need to rush instead.
Our constant awareness of time has guaranteed there is always too much, and not enough, all at once.
I try to make the best use of my time, because I want to ensure that my writing is given the highest priority, every single day. Sometimes the best use of my writing time is first thing in the morning, while other days it is in the wee hours when my brain should be fast asleep.
The tricky part is I don't always know where that sweet spot of writing time will be. It's like a floating poker game, in a different place each day, with only a short advance notice as to the new location. I just try to stay on my toes and pick up clues so I'm ready when it's time.
Another thorny problem is this: I'm not exactly sure how to measure time anymore. A writing task that I'm sure will take only a few minutes ends up consuming several hours. Something I keep delaying because it will gobble up an entire day is over in less time than it takes to complain about it.
The one thing I know for sure is I treasure having the chance to devote time to writing.
Yes, I grumble when the characters go on strike. I shriek and clutch at my hair when the words get stuck in the back of my brain. I even convince myself it would be less painful to eat two huge bowls of half-cooked brussels sprouts than to do one more round of revisions.
Yet, even on the toughest of days, I can't think of a better way to fill the hours. Writing stories of love and romance and humor--this is how I want to spend my time.