In my final semester at UVic, I took a class called The Structure of Fiction with W. D. Valgardson. I’m afraid I was squeezing in six writing classes and working 16 hours a week for the provincial government that spring. I retained basically nothing.
Except for this:
I remember him saying that early in his writing career, he volunteered to do the family’s laundry once a week, because it meant sitting for an hour or so in the laundromat, the only place he could find the time and solitude to write.
Unfortunately(?), I have my own washer and dryer.
But Valgardson’s lesson remains true. You can always find a little slice of space. You just have to look hard, and then cling to what you find.
Last week, I wrote for half an hour each morning in the lobby of Atlantis Pool while my kids took swimming lessons. Then I wrote at 10:00 at night while my husband and my daughter watched the fireworks. Are these reasonable amounts of time? No. Are they arranged according to my ideal schedules and places? No.
I’ll likely get my druthers again in September. In the meantime, though, those swimming lessons were surprisingly productive.