Time, Time, Time, Time

Time has never been my friend. My parents were the type of people who got to places half an hour or more earlier than needed. This created havoc to my childhood playtime. But I think the real issue with me was, like with so many things, I have a terrible sense of time. Well…not terrible. I’m usually right when I guess that I’ve been doing something for fifteen minutes or an hour, but lots of times getting places is difficult. I tend to be stupidly early or I’m running late. Every now and then, I’m right on time.

To write while living a life that doesn’t necessarily conform to the creative personality, i.e. having a day job, one must make his/her own time for their passion, their art, their craft–whatever you want to call it (some days I call it my craft, on other days I call it my obsession). Unfortunately, my sense of time fucks with me here, too. I either feel like I have more time than I do, or I feel like I don’t have as much time as I need. This might mean I don’t get as much done as I’d like.

I used to. Ten years ago, I was a stay-at-home dad, a job I did for five years and took very seriously. I did a good job, I think. My daughter knew she was loved and now, at thirteen, she’s smart as a whip. I wrote a copious amount back then…at four in the morning.

I would go to bed around nine and get up at four. I’d make myself a cup of tea, go to my computer, and quickly–and I mean quickly–check my e-mail. And then I’d start writing. I’d write until 6 AM, when my wife (now my ex-wife) would get up to begin her day for work. My daughter would be up shortly after her mom left for work, and then I was Daddy for the next twelve hours, with the one hour break of naptime, in which I tried to get some reading done. Nighttime was family time and then the whole thing began again. I did this from Late 1999 until 2003, when I went back to school.

After my separation and divorce in 2004, my writing lagged a bit. I still wrote, but I had trouble getting into a groove. Probably because my life was a little like an M.C. Escher piece: nothing quite added up for me. Time passed and I met my wife, Pamela, in January 2007, and I moved in with her that October. By the end of the year, I was writing again.

Only now, things were different. I’d become a teacher, a job I sort of fell into. Do not mistake that I don’t like my job, I do. I love my job. It’s not the normal teaching gig, for starters, and my students are all great. Still, the writing is an essential part of me so I do it.

Which is where time has been slapping me around. I make time, but I feel as though I don’t make enough, or I have trouble getting into a groove, or….

Are these excuses? Am I trying to make excuses for not being more productive? Or am I being too hard on myself, as I’ve been accused of being in the past. This summer vacation, I made a fairly strict schedule that I hardly followed. Instead of the seven hours of work on various projects that I’d scheduled, I’ve spent about two-to-four hours instead. In about two weeks, I’m back in the day job with maybe two or so hours a day after working (which is primarily me on my feet all day). Oh, and then I’ll have my classes to boot.

So…time. How do I do it?

Anybody have a Flux Capacitor?

About Bill Gauthier

Bill Gauthier is a writer. His books include the collection CATALYSTS, ALICE ON THE SHELF, SHADOWED, and the forthcoming ECHOES ON THE POND. His stories and essays have appeared in DARK DISCOVERIES and BORDERLANDS.

Posted on August 14, 2011, in Writing. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: