Thursday, December 15, 2011

Finding Time

I hate cars. I hate paying for cars, maintaining cars, and operating cars. I also hate the notion that all men like cars. You could say I hate cars, and all the ideas that surround them. Chief among my reasons is that driving requires your full attention, and despite some idiots' valiant attempts to prove otherwise, you really can't do anything else while driving. It is time wasted.

Cars represent freedom, don't they? That's what popular culture has us believe. In the movies, in commercials and novels throughout the past century the message is consistant: if only we had a car, we'd be free! Sure it's true to a degree, but most drivers don't even own the car in their driveway - they lease or repay a loan - and they've secured their place as a statistic alongside the millions who spend 15% of their life just...driving.

Many people like myself live in a big city where public transit is an option, yet so many look upon it with disdain, failing to see its secret glory. Yes it takes longer than driving yourself in your own automowhatsit, but not only is it far cheaper - without having to pay attention to the road, you can also work while you ride.

A key factor in my resuming this blog is that I now have an hour-and-a-half commute to work. I take the bus during the day, and in the evening, a bus and a trolley, and all told that's 2 to 3 hours per day locked in a big metal box with only my brain and an iPhone to keep me occupied. It's perfect. I have trouble getting motivated to write; now it's write or sit there being bored.

As I write this there's a girl talking on her phone behind me and the train's rattling loudly down the tracks - a less than favorable writing environment, but I won't let that stop me as it once did. I think we all prefer to just sit in front of our computers for a 2-3 hour block and concentrate entirely on our writing, but most days that's impossible. I'd go long, long stretches without writing anything, and that was my excuse - I really just need time to focus, I can't write under less than perfect conditions. This is a great mindset for watching a movie, but not for writing one. Conditions are hardly ever perfect; wait for them to be and you'll hardly ever write.

If it's difficult to find time for writing consider this: with the smartphone you most likely have or with a little old-fashioned notebook, you can do everything you need to do while writing throughout your day. Waiting in line? Write. Eating lunch? Write. On the can? Write write write. We like to tell ourselves we're too busy, we're just not in the mood. Ask yourself if you're really okay with believing that, if you're really okay with ending your day not doing something to work toward your goal, with being in the exact same place you were yesterday, and suddenly those little pockets of time will call your attention.

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