Saturday, May 28, 2011


Recently I've been writing about some time conflicts I've been having. About how work and writing do or don't flow together. About how to fit in walking, swimming, biking and strength training around the working and the writing.

A couple of weeks ago I discovered that I seem to need some transition time between working and writing. I think this is especially true when I'm working long days; more time to get into my writer space.

Today I think I discovered another piece of my writing puzzle: that the transition time is a true thing, and that I need some incubation time. I mean, that's not a totally new or revolutionary idea - but it hit me today.

I've been working on this non-fiction piece about ADHD for a couple weeks and I keep thinking I have it just about ready to all put together and am ready to stop taking notes and writing pieces. Then I think of some new angle or something I left out or a better way to do it. Today I was at the job I wrote about last week - where I have to be careful about what I take in to do in the down time, where there are things I can't take in with me, and so on. And writing is not an easy thing to do in this place for reasons I can't talk about. But it's not. But today, while the client was absorbed in a single person activity, the words finally started to flow on the nonfiction piece. One paragraph flowed to another and another and soon it had a shape and I had notes inserted where I would put the anecdotes and cited quotes and sources.

I hadn't planned on working on the piece today. I was saving it until I got home tonight.

But there it was. It had incubated. It needed to be written. And I had the time.

I realized that, with my busy schedule, my incubation time took longer than I thought it would. Because I had less time to think about the piece. I had student observations (one of which was in Tacoma), write-ups related to the observations, the final quick write and assignment for the Lit Star Training, feedback for the assignments and quick writes, and work. So the incubation time was squeezed in between all of these things, which was also the time for writing, so it took longer.

And yesterday I spent over three hours writing with a friend. Another piece of incubation and transition time, I think. So my pump was primed yesterday and the writing flowed today.



I'm figuring this out.