Friday, February 23, 2007

Writing in the Cracks

Most authors are familiar with writing in the cracks. Grasping moments of time, no matter how brief, to squeeze our muse onto the page.

When I first began to take my writing seriously I had four children under six years of age. I wrote between middle of the night feedings and between temper tantrums. Now that they are ages 7, 9, 11 and 13, I write between middle of the night flu episodes and teen temper tantrums. The cracks have grown because they're all in school now but life still gets in the way of writing.

These last couple months have been a huge trial for my crack-writing abilities. We moved houses after twelve years and our area was immediately hit by a series of storms that kept us without power for a lot of those first few weeks. Next, the holiday season arrived and I was preparing for a house full of company. Since the new year our home has been plagued with a variety of flu bugs that seem to leave and return with barely a gasp between.

Last night, as I sponged the forehead of a feverish seven year old with my left hand and jotted notes in a notebook with my right, I realized that if I'd waited for more time to write I still wouldn't have finished my first book. This isn't much different from my friend who trained for a marathon in the cracks of time between caring for her disabled son and her busy career. What's so important to you that you squeeze it into the cracks?


Jana DeLeon said...

Well, you know me - I'm another writer so writing is definitely in the cracks. And even though I have negative time available in my life, I make sure I see a movie every weekend with my hubby. He is a huge movie buff and quite frankly, I need the break and other forms of stimulation too. Other than that, I mostly try to move things out of the cracks - you know things like cooking, cleaning, etc. :)

Wendy Roberts said...

Hi Jana (waving madly). Yup housework definitely needs to stay out of the cracks. I'd love a full-time maid *sigh*

Jana DeLeon said...

Full time maid is a dream - especially if she can cook! I settle for maid service every other week, but heck it's more often than if I were doing it. :)

All we need are those big movie deals and then we can buy our islands and retire with "staff." I've always wondered what it would feel like to have a personal staff.

Rachel Vincent said...

Writing for me too. I feel like I live in my own world all day long, so that when I do get to sit down in front of the computer, I'm already in the right mindset.

Unfortunately, my own world tends to interfere with my driving abilities.