T.G.I.F. … Thank God it’s Friday.
But what if the weekend isn’t as golden as it might be? What if your work schedule happens to include the weekend or erratic hours or overtime? What if your work means being at home and raising a family? Or being at work and raising a family? Okay. No doubt about it. You’re busy. I’m busy …
We’re all busy.
Now what? “Thank God it’s Friday” may not mean there’s writing time ahead. Hm-m-m-m. I think we have to look at T.G.I.F. in another way. Thank God I’m free. Yes, we are. But I don’t mean in a national sense. I mean free … we all have free time. Free time? Free time? I’ve got to be kidding. Right? No. There are free moments out there. We just have to look a little bit and start finding them. Just where might they be?
Well … we can get up a little earlier. What?! I know, I know. I heard the groans. But think about it. The house or apartment’s quiet then – we’re free. We could stay up a little later. I know, I know. I saw the giant yawns, the eyes closing. But the daily business of living has been tended to and now it’s just us – we’re free.
(I use the “get up a little earlier routine.” I might only have 10 or 15 minutes, but sometimes I can grab a half hour or more. What I discovered? I gradually wanted to get up earlier because my energy was charged for whatever I was working on.)
There are free moments when we’re riding the bus or on the commuter train. When we’re walking the dog or out for a jog. When we’re sitting at the car wash, in the doctor’s office. Those pieces of time are hanging there. They’re not very long, but they’re ripe with opportunity. Grab ’em.
A notebook or iPad or recorder needs to be kept handy because we have to be ready for something else. T.G.I.F. … To Grab Ideas Fast. We can jot down a quick character quirk or come up with just the right word or straighten out a sentence. (In Costco’s fine dining area I jotted down a short list of words that served as an outline for a story idea I’d been playing with.) These moments may not be ideal; that goes with the territory. But we’re writing, no matter what. Pieces fall together. Ideas are there. Grab ’em.
Then, when a big block of an hour or two arrives, we can pull out all the ammunition we’ve accumulated during those small pieces of time and write.
Because after all is said and done, after we experience all the ups and downs of writing – and there are plenty of them – we can say, “T.G.I.F. … Thank God I’m Fantastic. Thank God I’m Fabulous.” I’m not talking about the quality of our writing although I hope it’s terrific. I’m talking about how we view ourselves. We’re upright, ambulatory, and breathing! Life is good. And we’re writing.
And in the spirit of the season, I’ll leave you with a final T.G.I.F. … Thank God I’m fortunate. We’re fortunate.
God bless our troops, our first responders, and everyone impacted by Hurricane Sandy.
Wishing you a time of thanksgiving!