Snow days were made for writers and a wonderful affirmation that teaching and being a writer in the wings go hand in hand. Rarely does the universe hit the freeze button and say, go ahead, write your heart out. Nothing else is required of you. Today is a frozen moment in time, and I plan on using every minute.
I'm wrapping up a novel that has been a long time coming. It was an idea that turned into three poems and a short story, the characters scattered all over the map (and the internet). The end didn't come easily. It felt like an impossible game of tug-of-war, letting down the main characters whichever way I pulled. I went to bed last night wondering when I would sneak in a few minutes to wrestle with the ending, and this morning as the alarm went off and the call from my school district closing the high school simultaneously snapped me out of bed, I sat down and finished. There wasn't an epiphany. I didn't dream of the perfect ending, but somehow having the responsibilities of the day lifted off of my shoulders let things fall into place.
Those writers gifted with unlimited resources and unlimited time are few and far between. For the rest of us mere mortals, it's not just about finding the minutes to write. It's about silencing the voice reminding us that there is laundry to be done and what about the dog, he's dying for a walk and are you sure you did your taxes already? Time itself isn't such an unusual commodity. It manifests in doctor's waiting rooms and the space between work and the gym. Physical minutes and hours can be plucked from the day, but using them solely for writing, that's the tricky part. Climbing into the world you're creating, hushing the world hanging around you, is a sometimes impossible challenge. Not because one is better than the other but because they compete. They fight like maniacs, and at the end of the day the real world always wins. Its weight is tangible. Its urgency, undeniable.
I am a routine writer. Every morning whether it's for fifteen minutes or two hours depending on when I can eject myself from bed, I write. But of those days, only half, possibly a third, are ones where I win. Where I put up the shade that allows me to shut my eyes and see the characters twiddling their thumbs, waiting to be played with like dolls on a shelf. The other days I drudge through. I bump my head against the wall between this world and that trying to get the sensation that I'm over there. But my worries and my realities win over and those pages go in the file labeled, hey at least I wrote.
Whatever forces of God or nature blessed me with a snow day today, I owe you. Bigtime. Before the sun came out, when the snow was settling on the real world, I was able to slip off into my own little Narnia and give a few characters closure. And that is truly priceless.
Writing has always been an escape, a passion, and a friend. And I love the fact that in my free time and through my career I can help others discover their voice, too.