Occasionally two entirely unrelated pieces of reading will clash, and they result in wonderful breakthroughs, ideas, or realizations. The other day I bought myself a copy of A Year of Writing Dangerously by Barbara Abercrombie. It’s a bit of an awesome book.
The first entry in the 365 Days of Writing section of the book talks about Abercrombie’s attachment to this little cabin she’s got up on a mountain. She loves to go out to that sacred space, cosy herself up in it, and get her work done.
On the same day that I read this, while going through my Feedly content I came across a new post from Ruth Fields. Fields is the author of the fantastic guide for baby runners like myself, Run Fat Bitch, Run! She’s more recently published a new book called Get Your Shit Together, which is about organization and working efficiently. As promotion for the new book, “Grit Bombs” have been going up on her blog, which give a taste of what the book offers.
This grit bomb appeared on last week: the basic message is that we need to stop making excuses about having the ideal circumstances, and just get on with things.
Fields and Abercrombie connected in my mind. I think that I too often wait for is the ideal circumstances to write, and unfortunately they’re rare.
My week is currently (and for foreseeable future) structured so that I don’t have two days off together. I always aim to spend my Wednesday writing, but often it gets spent catching up on washing and dishes, cooking and TV. Sleeping. I get home on work days and only have an hour or two before my partner’s home – he’s pretty loud when he’s home, and I struggle to concentrate when there’s noise. But that hour or two after work isn’t ideal – I’d rather relax, check emails, or watch the news.
Okay, so it’s not ideal, but what the Fields/Abercrombie mash-up made me realize is that it’s never going to be ideal. What matters is that the time is there, and I can use it if I pull my finger out. It’s nice to dream about cabins in the woods, or my ideal, home alone for a whole day with no other commitments, but it just doesn’t happen.
We’re all busy people. How do you make your writing work despite your other commitments?