Michelle Gable, Writer

Michelle Gable, Writer

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Tick Tock

August 29, 2013 , , ,

firstdayTuesday was back to school in our house. My daughters are at two different schools this year which, aside from causing no small degree of consternation for the little one (oh how she misses her big sister), has added some complexity to my schedule.

Compared to most we have it pretty good. I have friends in other parts of the country who would literally have to drive to see their next door neighbor. I live in a small little beach community where I could walk to any point in my zip code expeditiously and also probably in heels. The two schools are at most a mile apart, and that is rounding up. So I don’t have a lot to complain about. Not that this will stop me.

This new school rigmarole will add an additional 2.5 hours to my week (yes, I’ve done the math…doing the math is what I do). That’s a lot of time! And of course I can not help but think of all the crap I’m not getting done during that 2.5 hours. Like writing.

If I’m really cranking, writing-wise, I can bang out 1,000 words in an hour. That means 2,500 words in those 2.5 lost hours, or 100,000 during the school year. 100,000! That is a full-length novel! This damn two-school business just took a novel from me! (Ignoring of course editing time, research time, staring at your computer thinking it’s the worst book you’ve ever seen).

Yes I’m complaining but mostly trying to make a point. The situation is hardly unique. It’s not even unique among the people I hang out with on a daily basis. If you have two or more kids born in different years, at some point you will have to negotiate the dual-school routine (and dual-sports, dual-Spanish club, dual-on and on… side note: though I think older kids are easier in general, their schedules are WAY more difficult to manage! Bring back the days when all activities were defined by me).

Anyway, the point is this. We all chew up needless time during the day whether it involves kid negotiating, taking the scenic route home, accepting the fate of an egregiously long Starbucks line, looking through peoples’ Facebook photo albums from Christmas 2009-the list could go on. We don’t really think about it because it’s not that big of a deal. It’s what you do. The kids have to get to school after all. But when you add up all the little chunks well, it does exactly that… adds up.

I’ve read, and I think have mentioned here, 80% of people say they want to write a book. Most will not, not because they can’t, but because they just won’t. They won’t find the 30 minutes a day, the little spaces of time. This goes for any hobby or passion. Anyone can find the time. A few minutes here, a few there, and after a school year you have a novel (a painting, a portfolio, some awesome computer code).

Now excuse me while I go make some excellent use of my own time and look at the Twitter rantings of people I’ve never met.

What do you think?

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