Clock-Blocked and the Speed of Write

In order to write we need to make use of time. We have to find time to write,  then actually use it for writing.  We have to decide when and how long we will write, and figure out a way to sustain this routine week after week.

The clock is both a writer’s invaluable friend and his or her most vexing adversary. It’s impossible to describe what time actually is, but we all have an intimate and complex relationship with it nonetheless. All of humanity must contend with the glories, mysteries, adventures, dramas, terrors and griefs that characterize temporal existence. And without the relentlessless flow of our hours and minutes, what is there to write about anyway? There would be no windows of creative opportunity, no due dates, no deadline pressure, no beginning and no end of our projects. Writing is inextricably tied to our relationship with the endless cycles of the clock.

In addition, it seems to me that no two  people experience time in the same way. We’ve all been conditioned or wired to manage time in a unique, particular way. Some of us write rapidly, some slowly. Some writers have large chunks of time to write yet they accomplish very little, while others are productive writing in the cracks of tightly scheduled lives.  Some can readily create schedules for their writing lives and stick to them religiously, while others exist primarily in the here and now and have extreme difficulty imagining the day ahead of them or sticking with the same routine day after day.

It helps to remember that the number of writing sessions available in our lifetime is not infinite, because the prospect of leaving this earth without doing the writing we want to do can serve as a motivator.  However,  I’ve also know writers who were so acutely aware the passage of time that they became anxious, overwhelmed and unable to find their muse. Clock-blocked.

There is no absolute right or wrong about how we should experience or utilize our writing time, and even among very productive, great writers, approaches vary widely. It’s good to keep in mind, as Einstein revealed to us, that time is relative. I think he also said that everything changes and becomes very ineresting as we accelerate to speed of write, but I may be misquoting him.

About David Rasch

Author, psychologist, speaker, teacher, consultant, workshop leader
This entry was posted in Common Writing Block Problems, The Blocked Writer's Book of the Dead, Tips for overcoming writer's block and procrastination and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Clock-Blocked and the Speed of Write

  1. char says:

    why did the writer throw the clock out the window ?

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