I have read several books on writing and attempted the twelve week program outlined in The Artist’s Way over the summer (I didn’t make it past week three). The advice I most often see is to write in the morning and to commit to a block of time to do so. This sounds great to me but then I remember I have a job. A job where I’m in the office at 7 a.m. so right there I throw out the idea of morning writing. I so want a true writer’s life where I can devote specific hours to it every day.
For a time I tried getting up at 5 a.m. so I could at least put in an hour in the morning but that lasted as long as the end of summer when darkness and cooler weather enticed me to remain under the covers until 6 only giving myself enough time to quickly shower and dress before leaving the house at 6:40. When I was morning writing, some days it would be hard to break away from the rhythm after an hour.
Thus, came my brilliant idea to ask to go to a four day work week. An idea I mulled over and debated with myself for several weeks before broaching it with my husband. I was pretty sure he wouldn’t be thrilled with the idea and I was also nervous to bring it up to my boss. Finally in early September, the stars were aligned and my boss asked a question that offered the perfect opportunity to make my request. I had talked to my husband and he was semi-supportive so I jumped in and asked about going to four days.
My boss is pretty awesome and has been supportive of whatever I want to do. I won’t go into specifics, but she is the type that, if you have an idea or a dream, she will do whatever it takes to help you. This hasn’t been a rare situation for me as I’ve had several bosses who’ve treated me in a similar way. I feel such gratitude I haven’t experienced many situations where a boss made working for them a drudgery.
We went back and forth and finally came to an agreement where I would have Fridays off and I’m now three weeks into my new schedule. I am committed to spending mornings writing even while household chores and errands (and quite honestly, the book I am reading) try to pull me away. I have a few assignments to work on for writing class and even though I won’t be there next week, I’m going to work on the various “invitations to write” we received last night.
When we got to class, the first thing we did was to write about our day. I didn’t think much happened yesterday but soon my pen was flowing on the page as I described a surprising email I had received just before I walked into the classroom. The assignment was to turn it into a Wikipedia article so I will tackle that this morning. It’s great to try different forms of writing.
After that, she asked if anyone wanted to share something they wrote during the week and I unconsciously put my hand in the air. I read the piece I wrote about judgement and my unusual health ailment. It was five pages and about halfway through I was regretting sharing as it was taking so long. I didn’t hear anyone laugh or make any other sound while I was reading and thought it was a dud. Embarrassing. However, when I finished and looked up at the teacher, I could tell she had been moved. She was pretty effusive with her praise which caused a bit of embarrassment but it made me glad I had read it. I need to keep reminding myself I need to take chances if I want to write.
No one is going to come to my house and tell me I should get a book contract based on the writing I don’t put out there. So now I’m off to write even though I just finished writing here. Does writing about writing count as writing?