December in June

Outtakes 248

December in June

By Cait Collins


I look at my June calendar and think we’ve already hit the December holiday rush. Every week is booked. I have almost no open time. Birthdays, baby showers, a wedding, critique, Vacation Bible School, a gospel meeting, doctor appointments, dinners, lunches, and car repair appointments have blacked out my calendar. Sometimes I feel as if I have no time to write.

Let’s be honest. Life happens and sometimes we must tend to life. That said, I refuse to feel guilty because my novel has not progressed as much as I want. I do have other commitments, but like so many women of my generation, the word “no” isn’t a common word in my vocabulary. Take my mom for example. She was a housewife with six daughters and a military husband. Even without a microwave, a dishwasher, and a clothes dryer, she still managed to keep house, fix three meals a day, do all the laundry, be a Girl Scout leader; chair the cookie drive, teach Bible class, knock doors for the March of Dimes, make our clothes, and still have time for a bedtime story. God bless her.

It seems her daughters have inherited her busy bee attitude. We are all hard workers, and we volunteer for other causes. We also put family in a priority position. And there are times when we should say no to a request, but we still work in one more thing. So when is there time to write? The answer is to try and schedule an hour or so everyday to work on my novel. Lunch time works best. I can take my Netbook to work and write while I’m snacking. Or I keep a legal pad in my briefcase and write in longhand. I may not get the fine points down, but I keep the story moving and am able to get to know my characters better. If I’m writing longhand, I fill in details when I enter the pages in the computer.

I won’t claim this set up is ideal. It’s not. But getting the essentials down is better than doing nothing. And if I reach a point where I can’t progress on the novel, I can switch to a memoir or a short story, or a blog. I don’t waste time.

Maybe one day, I can retire and spend all of my time writing. Until then it’s steal a few minutes whenever and wherever I can. That’s what writers do.

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