Friday, October 27, 2006

Finding The Time

The first question people ask me when I say I've been writing a book since January while looking after a 3-year-old and a 1-year-old is "How do you find the time?"

I always give the same answer: "I don't know."

They assume I must put in the time during late nights - there's no such thing at Chez Keeble, unless you count my going to bed at 8pm then being awake between midnight and 3am with the youngest kid screaming as I rub teething gel on his molars.

It must be early mornings then - but, define "early." My wife's alarm goes at 5:15am and she leaves the house at 6am. The first child is usually awake at 6:01. On the rare times I am awake, but both kids are asleep, I will admit to doing some work on the book. I will also admit to checking my fantasy sports teams, reading The Sun online, and catching up on two-month-old e-mails in my inbox.

At least this phenomenon explains why the stage I have reached now - the final (hopefully) redraft is taking so long. I found it fairly easy to whack out the initial bones of the story which I would then amend during a rare calm in the near constant infant storm. But this redraft is the big one that an agent will be seeing, so every word has to be perfect. Even with one child asleep and the other in front of the T.V. watching The Wiggles, my careful scrutiny will be soured by Captain Feathersword's rockin' on the sea, not to mention his getting tossed about.

Perhaps an answer is a laptop that I could take to another quieter room, rather than my being tied to the desktop in the increasingly cold, un-insulated sun porch? Unfortunately, laptops and I don't really get along.

The other thing is that I allow myself to get ahead of myself on a daily basis. This morning I had some time earlier where I could have eeked out 10 pages of redraft. Instead, I looked at t-shirt shops online and designed a shirt to promote my book release. That's right, a t-shirt to promote a book that isn't even a book yet and isn't even finished.

Still, I have some time now to do some... oh wait, the kid just woke up and I have spent the precious half-hour I had writing this.

So, you see the problem. If I find the time, I spend it doing something else.

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