The title caught me. Time to Write. Just what I needed.
I’d wanted to be a writer ever since I was a boy. Watching The Waltons on Thursday nights, I’d imagine myself as John Boy, sitting in my bedroom window on summer evenings, pouring the longings of life onto printed page.
It hadn’t turned out that way. Grown-up responsibilities—paying my first apartment’s rent, navigating the politics of my first ‘real job’, traversing the angst of my first move ‘away’, maneuvering the tangle of my first dating relationships—all got in the way of my childhood dream.
Life packed my days, leaving little room for my notebook from youth. The notebook I’d carried through the fields behind my parent’s barn, past the algae-choked pond, through the corn-stalk sentinels, up the sledding hill to the edge of the forest. There I’d climb into the fattest maple’s limbs, the one that had three thin boards nailed to the trunk—weather-worn step from kids long gone.
I’d sit and write things like:
I love the sound of the creek at night.
Its rushing gurgles call me to something I don’t yet know.
But a job and a husband and a house happened. Through all of that, there was no time.
Until the 2002 Writers & Books catalog caught my radar. Flipping through, I found Wendy Low’s Time to Write. It pitched techniques to carve out time from busy life and write. That struck a deep chord within me, waking my John-Boy longing.
I’ll admit, it didn’t happen overnight. But here’s the short version.
I took the class; loved it; took another, and another, and another. I learned tricks about writing when you first wake, about finding a space in your house to hole up, about leaving a laptop on, so you can grab-and-go when inspiration strikes. These tips (and more!) spurred me to write every day.
Flash forward. With work and perseverance, by 2005, I had 70K words of a book written. By 2007, I began teaching at Writers & Books. By 2009, I published my memoir, In Jupiter’s Shadow. Today, I belong to two writing groups and I’m working on two novels.
I’m thrilled Writers & Books exists. And that, with their help, I made time for a dream.
Photo credit: Sonja Livingston