Yesterday, I wrote the first few sentences before Isaac came downstairs. Unlike today, he was immediately hungry. So I paused and made his oatmeal and sat back down to write. Then I had that moment of enjoying watching him enjoy his breakfast. If I accomplished nothing else yesterday, I wanted to capture that moment, to preserve how special it felt in all its ordinariness. A few sentences later, Ian (my 3 year old) came downstairs heartbroken from a bad dream and missing grandpa (who visited us recently). A long hug on this same spot on the couch and a cup of orange juice made things better, though he wanted to play quietly before his breakfast. I managed a couple of sentences before he was ready for cereal and raisins. Soon, two boys were full of breakfast fueled energy and into their morning play. I had to bear down mentally at the end but that’s also when I cleaned up a few messy sentences and made the whole thing a good deal tighter.
My little post from yesterday about the meteorite struck a nerve. A number of people shared it, liked it, and commented on it. I appreciate the encouragement. I also had to laugh thinking about what the experience of writing it was like compared to how it came out and was received. As I wrote Monday, I’m committed to writing more this year, including daily blog posts. The idea is that by making myself post something everyday, I will get back into a writing mode and be more productive overall like I was in 2013. Putting that idea into action means finding time to actually sit down and write. With everything else I have going, I think the best time is early in the morning (which is also when I wrote many of my Red Letter Year posts). The only problem so far is that my boys, who are early risers anyway, are getting up earlier and earlier, nearly matching me. I’m writing this sitting on my couch and Isaac has just curled up beside me, arm in mine, watching the words appear as I type. He’s up a good 45 minutes earlier than usual. I’m not noisily waking them up or anything. Somehow, I think they just sense an opportunity for a few extra minutes with dad so they’re taking them.
Why am I giving you the play by play from yesterday? Because I suspect that you might be like me, trying to do creative things and have an actual life at the same time. It’s not easy to keep all the balls we’re juggling in the air. I used to think I had to get things just right (total quiet, clear desk) to write. But I have found in recent years that I do some of my best writing in far less sterile conditions. I can recoil from real life as a distraction from my creative work or I can find my inspiration for it in all those everyday moments. I can try to bend all of my life around my writing or my writing can take the shape of my actual life. I’m learning to revere the sacredness of the small moments.