Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Any Which Way You Can

People sometimes (often?) ask me how I can possibly find time to write. As I sat writing in the car during my daughter’s ballet practice, pungent smell of manure (the ballet studio is on a farm!) wafting in through the air vents, it really occurred to me that it’s not about the Big Expanse of Time. It’s about learning to write, day in and day out, month after month. And when you consider that I’ve been writing on a consistent, daily basis for more than five years now, the rhythm of writing under contract isn’t all that new.

For several years now I’ve been of the mind that you just have to write whenever you can, even if it’s not the most pristine, graceful moment. See the cow manure/farm moment earlier today. Irony here? That it was some of the most unadulterated creative time I’ve had in weeks: no radio on, no Internet service, no interruptions. It was just me in my car, fingers flying over the keyboard.

Too often aspiring writers seem to wait for the big ideal moment, forgetting that life is an accumulation of less-than-ideal moments. It’s the overall tapestry we’re creating that matters.

Anyway, it’s been a long time since I posted here, but I think my more ideal moments are starting to click by closer together. Here’s hoping that means I can be a more regular presence out here in the blogosphere.


Gina Black said...


Very inspiring blog. Thanks for that. My writing time has been slipping away like sand through my fingers. I need to find my moments, and it would be especially good to find them away from the internet. ;)


Deidre Knight said...

Thanks, Gina! Glad you found my post inspiring. It's something I've been thinking about a lot lately! Btw, haven't forgotten you and the materials I have here!!! :) D

The Girl You Used to Know said...

I think that's one thing I need to work on...not worrying about having 2 hours at a time to write--but making 2 hours out of 10 minute snags here and there.

It's not easy for me to do. But I have to reteach myself.

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

This lesson is one of the biggest gifts a writer can give herself (or himself, even). My Alphasmart did it for me a few years ago, and ever since then, my productivity has remained high overall.

Very familiar with the in-the-car-during-dance-class (or soccer practice) moments. Though, thankfully, without the manure. :)

Ellen said...

Hey, Deidre, glad to see you posting!

I totally agree. I have a laptop I lug all over the house. Instead of writing in my upstairs office (which I can't do till all the older kids are busy and the baby is asleep-- and THAT doesn't happen often enough!), I've taken to writing in the living room while the kids ricochet off the walls. I used to require silence when I wrote, but I've gotten used to writing despite distractions!

Unknown said...

I can relate. It helps that my wife is supportive of this little venture. I would be completely discouraged otherwise. I had a similar experience while watching my daughter at ice-skating lessons last week. When they first learn, they hold their arms out to the sides, and it occured to me they all looked like little ducks trying to fly off a frozen pond. That led to a couple pages of scribblings in my journal. But you're right, you can't wait for those moments. It's like waiting until you're ready to have children. Whose ever ready?

Anonymous said...

Your words are too true :) It's great to see you back!

Unknown said...

I've learned to take advantage of the hour I have to sit in the car rider line to pick up my daughter...me and my QuickPad. It's amazing what I can get done in that hour!

haze said...

Thank you for your inspiring post. I am guilty of waiting for the "perfect time", and not properly utilizing my time. I hope that when I am ready to look for an agent I find someone as helpful and insightful as you are.