I have written extensively on the time it takes to be a writer. But it’s not just time, it’s discipline. Someone ought to invent “writers’ glue” that sticks writers’ butts in their chairs for a minimum amount of time each day. Oh yeah, and while they’re at it, the special glue should automatically disconnect the phones and the internet for a few hours. Any inventors out there?
In the past year I have done an extensive amount of teaching and a lot less writing than in the prior five years. In fact, beyond my twice-weekly blogs, I barely wrote at all. But now, with enrollment down in the international schools in Tokyo, including Temple University, I find myself unemployed and with unlimited time to write. Okay, I have parental responsibilities and a husband who needs my time, too, so the time isn’t unlimited, but it sure does stretch out. Just like one’s “stuff” expands to fill the available space in a house, so a task seems to expand to fill the available time.
In the past three weeks since being back in Tokyo from my summer holiday, I have spent a lot of time simply staring at a blank computer screen. It takes a lot of time and just plain gumption to put words on a page and make them into a story or a nonfiction piece. At the moment, I am building my gumption. It will come. I promise it will come. It will just be a slow process to get back in the saddle. But I’m working on it – I promise!