I’ve been thinking a lot about stealing time. Victoria Schwab aka V.E. Schwab (who writes an utterly obscene number of books every year) wrote a great post last spring about making time. I loved that idea, that you create time, you’re in charge of it, and the busier you are, the more you’re going to accomplish. I want to keep that in the forefront of my mind for 2015 as it’s shaping up to be a very busy year.
So I’ve been making time (which I talked about here a little bit).
But I’ve been stealing time too. I love secrets. I don’t know if that’s unusual or not, but I like secrets. I like collecting them, I like holding them–both mine, and other people’s–and I believe secrets are powerful. I think secrets can be damaging or empowering, and sometimes both. And stealing time feels a little bit like a secret, like I’m doing something dangerous and wild behind the day’s back.
Time is a resource. As a creative type, time is your currency. It is wealth. You must be the Robin Hood of time. You steal it back from the rich parts of your calendars and redistribute it to the poor parts of your calendar.
I steal time on my walks when I daydream. Walks are a part of my life as a city dweller with no car. I walk to the Starbucks where I write. I walk to the bus. I walk to the train I take to work. I walk and walk and walk. I’m healthier (and saner) for it, but it also felt like wasted time in my day. So instead of using the walk time to worry about all the things I could be worrying about (and probably should be worrying about, but adulthood’s so overrated), I usually daydream about something I’m writing.
At a friend’s house, I make a quick note in my phone when a bit of dialogue pops into my head.
On the bus, where I get too motion sick to read or write much at all, I research and send relevant materials to Evernote (the John to my Robin, so to speak.)
On a train, I write a list of reminders for this new project at the top of the outline.
Her city is home.
Hope is a thing with feathers. Hope is impossible and yet necessary. It is the core of this story.
Do not write the way you think it should be written. Just write it. Let go.
She’s an idealist. Just because you aren’t doesn’t mean she isn’t.
Create and believe in sympathetic magic. There is something magical about this city or you wouldn’t still be dreaming about it 7 years later.
I finished my line edits for the balletbooks earlier than I expected and way ahead of deadline, so I’ve stolen time back into my calendar. I’ve given the stolen time to a historical fiction project I’ve been thinking about for a month or so. It’s stuck around long enough that I’ve started to outline it and talk about it with a few writer friends.
I know my copy edits are coming soon enough and I have to redistribute time, and creative energy, back to the District Ballet Company books. But for now, I feel like I’m hiding away with an illicit candle, writing when and where I shouldn’t be with time I shouldn’t have. And it makes me giddy with excitement.
Make time, but steal it too.