Friday, May 15, 2009

Not About Time

So while jury duty may have given me time to read the whole newspaper, it seems to have left little time to write anything, much less get a blog out. At least I thought it was about time.

Yesterday was Day 6. I woke up to rain and damp that made it feel more like New York in October instead of May. It’s been quite a while since I have had to be anywhere early and on time for consecutive days, so Thursday I was longing for the warmth of my apartment, my comfortable chair and my computer as I stood waiting on the security line at the courthouse on Centre Street.

Someone told me recently that I can make almost anything seem appealing. I wasn’t convinced they were right as I stood in the queue that was much longer than usual, frustrated that I had not blogged in days much less written one more page in my novel, annoyed at the time I seemed robbed of.

But being sequestered all day and disconnected from my email, Google reader, and social networks, I felt the need to use the time when there was still a working connection and I was not yet in the jury box to check in on Twitter via my iphone. My eyes zeroed in on a tweet from @QuipsandTips : Met with my writers' group last nite - what a source of inspiration & information! Do you meet with an in-person writers' group?

Of course I have a writer’s group! I cannot imagine not having that safe haven that meets every other Tuesday in which to test out my words. In fact I am not sure I would have ever finished my first novel without them. I rarely miss a meeting. It is part dedication to the process, part therapy. Really, what would I do without this group of people who remind me every two weeks that I can write, who can’t wait to hear what is happening next with my characters, who offer suggestions, ideas and most of all support to keep on writing.

I love my writer’s group. has been asking to hear who our hero is. There is a big list of heroes and heroines in my life. My writing group is on that list.

As I got through the line, and prepared to go into the locked jury room, reminded again by the judge not to discuss the testimony, it occurred to me that the reason I have not been writing that much this week is not because of time. It is from exhaustion from curbing my conversation, an extension of having to be careful about what I share that has seeped into my fingertips and the keyboards. So careful have I been not to discuss the details of the trial with anyone, to keep it all to myself, I have stifled the flow of my words.

As I occupied my time and my thoughts with something other than the trial, my creativity had a moment of unleashing. A little social networking, a quiet space for a few moments, my thoughts to my inspiring writing group of heroes and heroines opened up the space. Turns out, my lack of writing this week has not been about time at all. But then, it never really is about time, is it?


Anonymous said...

The writing group is my "hero" too, Joanne! I can really say, there's never a dull moment ... and many interesting ones. Thanks for the acknowledgment and reminder of how important it is to share our words as we are crafting them.

Anonymous said...

I love our writing group, too. And am astounded at the strength of lives and literature that we bring to each other each time. Thanks for acknowledging us. Anonymous

Laurie PK said...

Thanks for mentioning Quips & Tips for Freelance Writers, Joanne!

When I mentioned writing groups on Twitter, I was amazed at how many writers don't have their own. It's great to hear how healthy yours is -- and how helpful. Interesting that you meet twice a week. We only meet once a month, and now I'm thinking we should ramp it up a little...

Good luck with jury duty...I hope all goes well.


Anonymous said...

I'd like to add to our lovefest. Actually, our writing group is a mutual admiration society with a critical edge. That's why it's both a joy to go to and a necessary reality-check for my writing.
See you Tuesday!

Butterfly Goddess said...

I love your awareness of stifling the flow of your words, and your ability to release the flow again. It is so easy to block ourselves! And easier than we often think, to unblock.