Because not having enough time is a lame and un-special reason not to do the one thing that feeds my soul.
Everyone struggles with this. Don’t they? We all have work to do or work to find. We have clients to please and invoices to send and taxes to tally. We have rent and credit cards and oil changes and haircuts that need paying for. We have partners and spouses and girlfriends and boyfriends who want to hang out with us. We have brothers and sisters and aunts and grandpas that we’d love to catch up with. We have friends we adore that we don’t see often enough. We have laundry to finish and dishes to wash and groceries to shop for and dry cleaning to pick up.
The to-do list is never complete. I suspect it’s not just me. We’re all juggling, shifting one thing and then another, always out of breath, constantly striving to stay apace.
Some weeks it’s easier than others. Lately it hasn’t been easy at all. Clients and projects have sucked up double-digit hours each day, and I’m left feeling wiped out, creatively bare.
But there it is, waiting: the story that needs to be told.
So this is what I do on weeks like this: I make frameworks. I build scaffolding. I tell myself it’s okay if I don’t produce beautiful, praise-worthy prose in the scraps of time I have left. There is much I can do with what I have, even in the dregs of the busy days.
I imagine a builder standing on a foundation. Studying blueprints and measuring beams. Marking the spots where the doors will go. Noting the places where wires will be threaded through. Making scaffolding to lean against one section while working on another, the temporary framework that will be removed once the permanent structure is in place.
I start by outlining my next section. From the outline, I start building out the scene. It’s rough stuff – nothing pretty about it. Streams of consciousness. Incomplete sentences. Paragraphs that cut off suddenly. Things like: “Next she says something about radishes” or “Observation about the faultiness of memory here.”
It’s my version of scaffolding, something I can hang on to now, and that I’ll eventually replace with startling, poetic, soaring… Oh, there I go daydreaming again.
Point is: It’s all important. It all matters.
I have enough time, even when I don’t.