Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Seven Minute Stretches

I can get YouTube on my TV. I can download Caillou in spanish and this makes me and my daughter happy. For seven minutes. That's how long the longest episode is.

So, for today, and in answer to the most boring but evergreen question about writing ever (How Do You Find Time to Write?), I say - I write in seven minute stretches.

Tomorrow may be different. Two months from now, different. That's my particular lot in life right now, that I have to write in the tiny air-bubble-sized pockets of time my kids leave me.

I find the question of finding time to write fascinating in a completely boring way. If I come across an interview with an author I admire, it's the first thing I look for. Invariably, I'm disappointed. Whenever they write, whatever their schedule is, it doesn't solve my problem, the problem I face every morning: How. When.

If my inner editor is sitting her fat ass on my chest while she smokes a cigarillo, I find it hard to get motivated and contemplate giving it a miss. "Maybe I'll write tomorrow." This way lies madness, and worse, unfinished work.

My inclination is to set up the perfect space to write along with an appropriate beverage and the right kind of music. This set up can take up to an hour and I don't have that kind of time. I have seven minutes. I leave my word doc open, careful to save it often and I run, from the TV room, put on another Caillou, back to the kitchen table, write for 6 minutes. Somewhere in there is a potty break, one for each of us. There will be several snack and meal breaks too. I get exasperated, thinking, Is this the way a real writer writes?

Yeah. I guess it is.

This post hast taken me three Caillou's to complete.


  1. It gets easier to find the time as the kids get older and need you less. In a year, when my bird has left the nest, I fear I might have too much time. Then I'll actually HAVE to produce. Kinda scary.

  2. @nancy - the grass is always greener on the other side, I guess! The thought of having that much free time makes me giddy - like when I imagine the shoes I'd buy if I won the lottery ;)


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