"Temporality is part of the truth" -- Chuck Klosterman

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

IWSG: Time

I'm already in negative mode because I had to go back to school today. Students show up next Tuesday. I will have very little time to prepare for their arrival. But I whined enough about that last post. Instead I will add more whining about other lacks of time.

With school starting, that means less time to write.

I also coach soccer, so most days between now and November I will be away from home for nearly twelve hours a day, even more when we have away night games. And it's not like any of those hours include down time. I have thirty minutes for lunch, and with that time I basically have to eat lunch. The other two hours a day when I won't be teaching or coaching I will be planning and prepping and gathering data and, soon enough, grading. (My IB classes have summer homework to turn in the first day of school. Don't tell them, but I usually give a day or two grace period; still, I have to start grading stuff early on.)

I'm not bemoaning my job. I love teaching. I love coaching soccer. But I don't love feeling like--no, not "feeling like"--I don't love simply not having enough time to do my job. Close to or more than 150 students will filter in and out of my room next Tuesday and every day thereafter. If I'm to be the best teacher I can be to each one of those students, the time allotted is not enough.

And then I seem to lose time to do anything else in my life. What happens is I push the GO button when I leave the house in the morning, push PAUSE for a half hour to refuel, then GO again until I get home later in the evening. This year, at least, I have one planning period before lunch and one after. That breaks up the day a bit. Last year, I taught class for four hours straight before lunch and that wiped me out good for the rest of the day.

This is all to say that it leaves me with little energy to write. To stay up past my son's bedtime and type away for a couple of hours hardly happens when I'm in school. Just to get home in time to see my son before he goes to bed is a boon. Then to try to think on top of that? Doesn't happen very often.

So my insecurity this month is about time. How will I find the time to get any writing done, to work towards any artificial goals I've set for myself, to live the dream?

Any and all suggestions are welcome.

Time, Clock of the Heart. Thank you Boy George.

Today's post has been brought to you by Alex J Cavanaugh and the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Please give early and often.


  1. Never enough time is there? I think most of us are with you on that one. I try to think that if you can write something, even just a hundred words scattered throughout the day, it proves that the desire is still there. I admire people like yourself who have a busy lifestyle and still manage to write.

    I once heard someone say that their best work is produced during busiest times of their lives. When things have settled down, their writing is flat. That has really stuck with me. That's my best advice for you - own that your life is busy and that any work you produce maybe some of the best work you achieve. What's the saying 'No pressure, No diamonds.'

    Did not mean for this to be so long(sorry). Cheers!

  2. Usually when things get crazy like that it's sleep that suffers. I do some of my best work without any sleep. It's often hard to find someone to interpret whatever language I have written in, though. (grin)

  3. You could make all your classes creative writing classes and use that time to write your own stuff...

    I used to teach English at a school for at-risk adolescents and there really was just never enough time. My writing was reduced to whatever I managed to scribble down before I crashed for the night.

  4. My hat's off to you, that's for sure. My mom is a retired teacher, so I know what you guys go through.

    Are you an early bird? Maybe you'd be more productive if you'd rise extra early, set an alarm (so you don't forget to go to work - ha!), and then write for a while. Another option to lift your spirits might be to us a vacation day here and there to go somewhere all by yourself and write.

    I'm in the opposite boat, I'm afraid. I've been homeschooling a couple of mine for the last 4 years. They will all 3 be in PS this year. (August 27th for us.) I can't wait for school to start so I'll finally have some time to myself!

    IWSG #179 (At least until Alex culls the list again. :P)

  5. Some folks'll get up at, like, 5am to get an hour or two of writing in at the start of their days, as they feel they'll be too wrecked at the end. I think they're insane, but hey, if it works for them, maybe it'll work for you? :-)
    Some Dark Romantic

    1. LOL - sorry, Melissa, my comment wasn't directed at you! I hadn't read it until after I left my comment! ::blushes with chagrin::

  6. You know, just do what you can. I suffer from Hashaimotos and Chronic Fatigue syndrome. And sometimes I write 30 minutes a day only and there are times when my blogging is sparce because of lack fatigue and brain fog. It's all goodn though.

    Hugs and chocolate,

  7. You'll figure it out. I'm just impressed that you can keep track of all of that and still manage to not be completely insane.

    Here's wishing you and your students a great year! :)

  8. My brain is wiped out by the time I get home and it takes an hour or so of guitar practice to recharge, but I can usually manage to write for an hour or two.
    What about weekends? Even an hour each day gets you some writing time.

  9. Brent, having read your blogs for a wee bit now, something tells me, you'll manage to kick butt, despite the work load. I know we all hope so. You've got something to offer the world, so not only do I hope you find the spare minutes, and the unexpected golden hours, but I hope you take them and make them into art :) - Oh, and don't beat yourself up in the interim. Choose to enjoy every moment - stressing every moment never gives out the best writing. At least, not usually. I think.
    Anyways - good luck. You'll be great.

  10. I think the answer is obvious. You must quickly write a Number One Bestseller and have it made into a movie and become rich and famous and then you can quit your job. Or, because you seem like an awesome teacher, just teach a class or two at your own convenience. Bam! Problem solved.

    Love the Dali.

  11. Where does the time go?

    I'm visiting to primarily to shamelessly promote The Nineties Blogfest on the blogs of everybody that took part in the Noughties Blogfest. I'd love it if you'd sign up and join us on the 15th of October to talk about your favourites from the decade.

    Dave Wrote This

  12. Wow, you are busy. Sorry to state the obvious. But, you wore me out. I was in a job where I went non stop for 10-12 hours a day for about 4 years and I had to tell my boss and co-workers that if they want me to stay, they need to ease up on the hours not for me to rest but for me to do the only thing in my life that I love to do. If not, I would so regret any and all time spent at work. They understood for the most part, but it is still hard to be consistent. I hope you figure it out.

  13. Your schedule sounds totally insane! I got tired just reading it. But, while I get that you enjoy all the things you do, writing doesn't have to take a whole lot of time. Even twenty minutes a few days a week will give you some progress. Then if you can find a few hours on the weekend, I think you'll be surprised by how many words you can write. Also, because even a small number of words can keep the story in your mind, suddenly the times when your mind is unoccupied (like driving, or eating) become opportunities to think about your story and generate new ideas. Writing is fun that way. You never know when something is going to clobber you over the head!

    Hang in there. Sometimes the busiest people are the ones who are also best able to fit everything in. :)