During my blogging fast, my friend Laura D. blessed me with this photo on Facebook:
I knew I had to save it to share with all of you. What writer can’t identify with such a clock, after all? I think it’s brilliant, and it gave me a huge smile in the middle of a writerly kind of day.
To refresh, we’ve got write, write, toss, retrieve, start over, writer’s block, adult beverage, write, submit, revise, revise, publish.
If you could throw in your own marks of time, what would they be? I think I would add “interview,” because that’s definitely a regular part of my writing process. “Research” would be another. “Coffee break,” a total must. And things like, “stop to text back teen daughter,” “answer email from husband about who will take whom to which practice after school,” “make photo request,” “create photo cutlines for designer,” “check in with editor about…” the list could go on. I could have something for each minute of that clock.
You know what, though? I wouldn’t change it for anything.
During my time away from blogging, I talked with a local Dakota woman about her life on and off the reservation, I interviewed the wife of a professional hockey player, I learned about life in Burundi during civil strife, and heard and wrote about a Christian convert who was drawn into the Church by Jesus’ mother.
I’ve become more aware of the wider world, and the world at my doorstep. And I’ve faced the challenge of turning these potential stories into pieces that, hopefully, would bless others.
Yes, the life of a writer can be, like any other profession, defined by the clock. It can be stressful and demanding. The responsibility is huge. What we write can bring good or ill to the world.
But at the end of the day, I count it all as a huge honor. I look at that Writer’s Clock and I think, what a lovely cycle. It’s a routine with which I identify, and am happy to experience over and over again.
Having talked to people who have come from other places, and for whom the writing life is a faraway dream, I know that this is so much more than an ordinary job that just anyone can have. And I am jumping out of my skin with elation that I’ve been able to count writing among the hard but blessed efforts of my little world.
Thank you, God, for bringing me into this world. May my words, more than anything else, enrich the lives of those whose eyes see them, and whose ears hear them.
Q4U: What time markers would you add to the Writer’s Clock? What about writing makes you grateful?