Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Procrastination is not the thief of time - that's me

Thinking about time.

I've spend hours this weekend reading. I do that, again. Finding a book I truly loved was a bad thing, for a while there.

This weekend was crazy. With more things on lists than I can remember having to work my way through for a long time, I was wandering around with a book in my hand looking for moments or minutes (or hours) to steal. I blamed Paul Hoffman while He-who-must-be-paid-attention-to blamed me. There were times this weekend when he reminded me of my mother - she used to pull that face too!

There used to be a lot of time for reading. (I wrote that and instantly decided it was a lie. Great, I'm lying to me too: - "I'll be down in a minute." or "I'm nearly at the end of the chapter!")

I read six books a week, most weeks, from the age of eleven. The other weeks were my favourites, the weeks when I read the same book six times. These were books that glittered with multi-faceted characters, fascinated with settings and enthralled with plots that twisted like the Serpentine - writers that made me care. I read by daylight, desklight, nightlight or streetlight depending on how many times I'd been caught reading at the wrong time ! Reading was more important than sleep.

Then work and autism took over my life and I was the servant of time. This time next year things will be different, or better or easier. I found that things were, generally, different, worse and bigger.

I only read in school holidays. (No sign or symbol equals how I feel about that, now.)

September last year I rebelled: I read in term time. I knew what this would mean, I'm not to be trusted around books. But the rebellion lacked revolutionary qualities. I felt radical. I moved into my partner's shrine to football, colonised half, and started to write. So the girl from the blue-collar, Irish-Catholic family with far too many brothers, who learned to read because the library was full of places that were somewhere other, decided to write.

The Thief of Time was not procrastination, it was me: I took time, made time, stole time, and wrote.

I took control of what I was reading - not with selections at the library or the bookshop - but letter by letter and word by word.

One year ago today I "finished writing" Near Edgware, then I learned how to write.

1 comment:

  1. Great post, Elaine! I love that last line - it really says it all :)

    We need to have a few secret hours in every day - just for us writers - just for writing. Or reading :)