It’s about time, finding time, fighting for time, saying no to intrusions on time — it’s about time alone, long days alone, at the desk writing or in a chair reading … day after day …and missing a whole lot of things … and not doing things I really like (golf) … and not being there when things happen … but willing to miss them in order to have that time… that quiet time, all alone … day after day.
I sometimes teach classes on writing, during which I tell my students every single thing I know about the craft and habit. This takes approximately 45 minutes. I begin with my core belief—and the foundation of almost all wisdom traditions—that there is nothing you can buy, achieve, own, or rent that can fill up that hunger inside for a sense of fulfillment and wonder. But the good news is that creative expression, whether that means writing, dancing, bird-watching, or cooking, can give a person almost everything that he or she has been searching for: enlivenment, peace, meaning, and the incalculable wealth of time spent quietly in beauty.
Then I bring up the bad news: You have to make time to do this….
If so, what manic or compulsive hours will they give up in trade for the equivalent time to write, or meander? Time is not free—that’s why it’s so precious and worth fighting for.