I agree with Anne Lamott

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.

Anne Lamott:

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.

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  • Exactly. Bird by Bird is one of my favorite books (and my favorite on writing).

    Unfortunately, I’ve yet to really learn from it… 😉

    I should shut everything down now, eh?

  • I agree completely. Writing is nothing if not time-consuming. Actually, I take that back. Writing is easy; for me it is the preparation and thinking that must come first that is time-consuming. And then the re-writing after the initial writing that is equally if not more time-intensive. But yes, it all takes time. I don’t often have the luxury at this stage of my life (homeschooling mom of 3 kids 8 yrs and under) to have the uninterrupted gobs of time I crave. So I have to make do with what I have…10 minutes here, 15 minutes there. I strive to work things out in my head as much as I can before sitting in front of the keyboard. I take whatever time I can get and take advantage of my professor-husband’s vacation time to fit in the longer stretches of writing time when I need. And I don’t watch much TV…there is no time! =)

  • Scot, a great quote and great observations by you as well. I once hear someone once say, “Whatever you say yes to is a no to something else.” I have thought about that line many times. If I say yes to this and that, ultimately I will have to say no to some request or opportunity.