Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The author, Dane Baylis
Finding the Time

More musing on the process, perhaps as much to clarify my own thoughts as to impart anything noteworthy. Mostly thinking about what it takes to maintain a day job and still stay focused and motivated. You probably are looking at my photograph at this point and thinking, "He should be used to all this by now." There are times when I think that myself. But the truth of the matter is their are occasions when, with the day to day of life and work, it just seems easier not to bother with one more thing.

Maybe I'll just go out for a walk, or read, or vegetate in front of the...Naw, anything but that! But what about those first two? A walk is always a good way to clear my head and, being a trained photographer, it's just natural to pick up the camera bag and take it along. Amazing how many images come back that stir the mind and provide inspiration or detail to something on the burner or germinating in a notebook.

Speaking of which, what about that notebook? Jotting down an observation or two may not result in "War and Peace" but it might fill in a gap when I need it. Not to mention the number of poems that seem to be hiding in other people's conversations or the life in a city block. The momentary exercise of jotting this down can be the start of the next story or chapter. Everything percolates to the surface in its own good time but nothing happens until the mundane is shut off and the extraordinary is allowed.

Then there's that great waster of time reading. But it was Stephen King who said, "If you don't have time to read, you don't have time to write." Reading with a writer's eye and mind can be a real horizon widening experience. Why those words? Why that sentence structure? Am I content with what I am being shown or is there room for my imagination to fill in the details? What are the feelings of the hand behind these characters?

Things that can be recorded in coffee and lunch breaks. Scenes that just assemble themselves around the next corner. The flip of a hand at the edge of a curl. The smell of rich roast coffee. The red of a car, the birdsong over there.

The words may not be something that I can devote an eight hour day to but once in a while, yet they are constantly there if I put in the extra effort to notice. Everything else comes in its time, and I am so grateful that, as my life has gone along, I have been afflicted with a need to write, as often and as well as I can.

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