As many of you might know, I work full-time. Sometimes I came so late from work that getting up next morning to write before the day rushes in, is almost impossible. Some mornings, I cook before I get into work. Some mornings are reserved for hanging the washing from three days ago.
In a given working week, I might grab twenty minutes one morning to write. Sometimes I switch on my PC to write and then get distracted by emails. Most days therefore I grab time on the train to work. I don’t always take the rush-hour train – mostly because I am too lazy to get on the 8-am train. Especially if only 10 hours ago, I had got down from one of those caterpillar caravans. So most often I get a seat.
I have a choice when I get on the train and find a seat. I can read the latest book I am carrying or I can write. It is anyone’s guess what I am going to do. Sometimes I take my notebook out, jot down the start time and then I am stuck. I can’t think of anything to write. Often I remember Natalie Goldberg’s advice and describe the person in front of me or describe what’s hurtling past the window. Some days, I have a topic to write about. Some days, I rewrite something I had written earlier.
On my way back home, I am battling fatigue, sometimes alcohol induced coma and just sheer tiredness. But the train ride is a perfect 17 minute journey. Taking away a minute or two for getting organised, I have a 15 minute uninterrupted slot to write. My train keeps me captive in the seat. As long as I have an idea, I attempt to write.
Does that mean during weekends I spend every minute, writing? You must be joking. I don’t. I am lucky if I get my hour done before the day begins. In my nightwear, I sit down and write something for an hour or a bit more. If I don’t go anywhere out that weekend, I might manage another 2-3 hours. The rest goes in chores, supermarket, “oh the sun is out” jaunts to the park or to the Southbank. A boring life, but still no writing.
I like snatching time from fate to write. 10 minutes here, 5 minutes there. A coffee break at work, where I can sit down in the canteen and write a few lines.
It keeps my mind on the writing. It puts things into perspective – whatever happens at work or in life, I still have my writing intervals during the day.
What drives you to put life aside for a few minutes to write?