Saturday, August 18, 2007
A stitch in time
I wish having a miniatures hobby meant that it takes a miniature amount of time to work at it. But each little scene takes mega-, not mini-time. It took longer than you'd think for me to knit the afghan on the sofa in the photo, with size 000 needles and embroidery thread.
Everything else in my life, from my day jobs to committee work to driving up and down the state of California to address hordes of fans (3) also takes large chunks of time.
So when is there time to write? For those who might still be struggling with how to fit it all in, I have some tips to share.
1. No chunk is too small. The best thing I've taught myself to do is to use small amounts of time productively.
If I have as little as a ten-minute window of "free" time at home or away I open my writing project notebook, or my computer file and make some progress. Even if it's just to tweak one sentence, change that character name I haven't been happy with, or dump those random scene ideas I had on my way to work. It's a way of keeping the story at the front of my mind no matter what else is going on.
Waiting for the perfect long stretch of quiet (which might be necessary at times), with the perfect temperature, and the perfect snack food, can stall the process. The loss of momentum makes it harder for me to get started when that quiet evening does come along.
The afghan on the sofa was done in mini-chunks. Two minutes while I was waiting for my printer to discharge pages gave me a row; being on hold with the phone company got me three rows, plus an update of my Google calendar.
2. Sleep through household chores. I never use prime time for tasks like folding clothes or waxing the kitchen floor. (Does anyone do that anymore?) Those are things for times when I'm least alert. You might hear my dryer going at one in the morning, which, by the way, is better for the power grid.
3. Embrace technology. I know it gets a bad rap, especially when it's in the form of cell phones, but how great is it to be able to access my calls while I'm in line at Safeway? Headphones allow me to iron or write thank you notes while I'm hold for my doctor. I say thanks to the geniuses who make it possible for me to screen my calls and TiVo my favorite crime dramas (for research of course!) for viewing at my own convenience.
Today I sat in a physical therapy room, electrodes attached to my frozen shoulder, and edited this blog. I hope it was worth the time!
Albert Einstein said, “The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once.” I interpret that as: take everything ten minutes at a time.