What if I don’t have time to write? I often ask myself. Visions of unfinished projects left unwritten swirl in my head, along with myriads of marketing strategies I’ve started and forgotten about. When life crashes in me, how will I get any writing done, let only sell any of it once it is finished?
As I sit to write this post, I don’t know the answer yet. We’ve been getting our house ready to sell, and it seems like an exercise in one step forward, two steps back. Every little project I start, I either uncover something else that needs to be fixed, or I break something. And so another call to a contractor or handy man.
Years ago I read a book called “Don’t Waste your Sorrows.” While this book was about pain and forgiveness, the overall theme is to use everything that happens, even the negative events, to some advantage.
What does this have to do with no time to write? If I am overwhelmed with crises or chaos and finding time to write is out of the question, what I can do is observe. Using all five senses, I can take some notes that will help me bring life and detail to my writing.
How loud does a jackhammer sound as it breaks through my basement floor? How muffled is it when I am in the kitchen above, or go upstairs? I’ve have found out.
What images do the names of the color samples conjure up in my mind? How does the afternoon light look on hardwood floors covered with plaster dust? What does plaster dust taste like? Now I know.
How do you get grout off tile? Rust off linoleum? Paint off metal? This is not information I wanted to know, but now I do.
And what about how I am feeling? What sends me over the edge in frustration or exhaustion? Can I think of some metaphors to describe my emotion?
As I’m doing some painting or cleaning, I can use my powers of observation to capture some of these details. Jotting them in a notebook or better, on notecards that can be sorted by topic will help preserve my thoughts.
Someday I may use some of this material. If I do, I won’t have wasted all the pain and agony of working on my house, and have found some way to benefit from the days when there is no time to write.