Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Time To Write - A Story of Poets, Dishwashers, and Uneaten Sandwiches

Dear Dead Beat (well okay, so I had to add the Dear Dead Beat myself. Anonymous you obviously don’t understand the protocol here. It’s a psychological thing. It helps me think better. I’ll forgive you this time, but others be warned.)

I am a keen writer, but live a very busy life style and find it hard to get the time to write. Any thoughts or suggestions?

Dear Anonymous (see don’t you feel better already),

I remember taking a poetry workshop many moons ago with one of Ireland’s leading poets Paul Durcan and a similar question arose. One of the participants, a mother of three children, asked Paul about this. She told him how she had to get up early to make breakfasts, school lunches etc. and get her children out to school. Then she headed off to her work. She got home that evening and had more meals to make, all the other household chores. By the time she finished she was exhausted. “I just don’t seem to have the time I need,” she told him.

I remember Paul nodding his head, and then he quietly asked her, “What time do you get up at?”
“Seven o’clock,” she replied.
Paul nodded again. “Well then,” he said, “get up at six.”

The point is well made. If writing means enough for you, you will find the time even if it means getting up an hour earlier in the morning.

Dead Beat remembers another lifetime when he used to design domestic appliances for a living. Dishwashers would you believe it were his speciality. Especially a little one you could fit under the draining board which would transform the life of… Oh well never mind. The fact is I would come home in the evening after a day of designing turbines and soap dispensers and set into my writing late into the night. Weekends were likewise spent at my Olivetti (that will tell you how long ago it was. Dead Beat is showing his age. In fact if the truth be told, it was probably washboards I was designing…) Anyway it seemed to me that I was doing things all wrong - that I should be writing all day and working part-time. And so I bid adieu to my design engineering career and took a risk on writing. Now, Dead Beat is not naive, and understands that a decision like this is not possible for everyone. But I was serious about writing, very serious, and I made the decision to pursue writing as seriously as I wanted.

So how serious are you about writing? If you are serious enough, the time is out there. Mornings, nights, lunch breaks. If it is not so serious, enjoy your sleep and your sandwiches.

Contact Dear Dead Beat Through the Comments to Respond to this Query or to Ask a Question of Your Own

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Dead Beat,

I mainly write short stories. Sometimes I use first person point and view and sometimes third person but I am unsure about the differences between them. I have looked it up on the web but found it all quite confusing.

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