Writing: Stealing Time

Yesterday it snowed again, just a dusting, but enough to make the roads slick. Of course, I left home later than usual and was worried about the time. I listened to my CD of the Civil Wars to relax and to think about the revisions I’m making on my novel. Their music is haunting and lyrical and brings to mind the complexities of relationships which is what I’m working on at the moment. The song called “Dust to Dust,” fits the complicated nature of my hero’s and heroine’s relationship perfectly. As I listened, the sun brightened the sky. The world was white with snow: on the ground, on the roads, swirling in the air around my car. Several crows flew across the highway, pieces of night silhouetted against the snow, their flight loopy but swift, pure poetry.

The contrast of white and black brought to mind darkness and evil versus light and goodness. I turned the possibilities of this image over in my mind and wondered how I could use it in my writing. I know I will; I just don’t know when.

Earlier in the year I posted that I was getting up an hour early to write, but when the time changed over from daylight savings, it wrecked my schedule. I haven’t been able to get up early because I can’t fall asleep early. I have been stealing time from other areas of my day, just as I did this morning on the way to work. I write when I’m cooking dinner, when I’m running errands, and when I should be grading papers for school. Often my commute turns into a mental review of my writing “problems.” Sometimes I even make it to my desk, but often my writing takes the form of jottings that must later be transcribed to the page.

What I’ve found is I write all the time, not just when I sit at my desk with my loyal Stella by my side. I see the world with a writer’s eyes. That is the difference. I can set aside a time–and I do–but what is equally important is thinking like a writer, finding the time when it doesn’t exist, seeing black crows against a white sky, and not being too distracted to notice.

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