These days, at the tail end of the autumn semester, teaching my classes, responding to my students’ writing, helping my wife care for our son, walking our dogs each evening in the chill air as the leaves fall around the house, I feel, much of the time, completely overwhelmed with work.
Plus the consequences of the presidential election continues to make social media an almost unbearable, unwatchable compulsion.
Still, despite the obligations, good and bad, of the day, I still find rare moments to slip into the calm of writing. I am still working on my novel, and a short story about a future world in which everyone’s memories have turned into zombies.
These beautiful gaps of calm, to slip into complex complete attention.
I even created a way for me to work on those two fictional projects on my phone, writing one-handed, writing snippets as they come to my mind, perhaps even while holding a baby in my left arm.
I write in the Drafts app, because it always opens to a fresh writing sheet, so there’s no need to search for the right file; I created a quick Drafts action to add whatever I write to a growing collection of snippets in a page in Ulysses, my favourite writing app.
The goal is to seize moments to write in, write all the language I have access to, send it over to Ulysses, and then later order that language into the pieces of a story.
How do you write when you have no time?