Veronique Darwin

Being on Time

In Thoughts on Writing on July 4, 2013 at 11:34 am

I grew up in a family where we had to be early for everything or we were late. I don’t know why! I need to be on time for everything, and if I’m on time I’m late. I think I would be a great professional, but something about me desires to work in a profession where timeliness is not an issue. Why, that urge to be everything I’m not?

Photo 43

Writing is a job where being on time is ridiculous. What are you rushing for? Would I even be a writer if my manuscript was ready on time for my (imaginary) editor? I’m embarrassed about my eagerness, my need to please. All I am pleasing is the ticking pit inside of me that replaces the necessity for a watch.

Two days ago I made a goal to write for one hour every day. What made me do that? No one who wants to publish it is aware I am writing a novel. No one knows what I do with all the hours of my day. No one knows!

But I think I need a ticking time bomb inside of me or I would never get anything written. I am self-employed, and I need to be on time to get to work in the morning. The  thing is, my work is made up.

I wish I could sit with a glass of wine on a back porch under high trees and just listen and talk until the mosquitos start biting me. And then I wish that I could wander slowly inside through the open patio door (not glancing at the clock above the oven) and grab an oversized sweater I’m not sure where I bought years ago, and I could wrap it around myself and sit back out on the same chair. And I would fill up my glass of wine and squint out at the fading light and be in the company of someone who, at one point as the night grew quieter, would ask “I wonder what time it is,” not really wanting the answer.

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