Sunday, 1 October 2017

About time

see the boy and the dog?

dog at 40 miles an hour

rain on the way
We walked the dog to the top of a mountain. The one that isn't really a mountain, but more of a lump. The littlest boy and the puppy ran to the top of course. Then the puppy ran back down. He hit warp speed about half way, it was terrifying.

The littlest boy found things to swing on, in the manner of Tarzan. He tried to get me to have a go too. I usually do, but it usually breaks so I tried to learn from my mistakes.

The puppy went for a wild mud walk with a puppy friend this afternoon. I stuck him in the bath afterwards. Oh the mud. It is October indeed. After a day of racing here, there and everywhere it is a pleasure to sit down and see at least one clean(ish) thing. I will work on the children later...

Around here the week got more productive after the shambles that was Monday. But it's still a bit of a struggle to find enough time for the whole writing thing. I've been dreaming of getting away. A few nights alone somewhere. Imagine all the free hours! Home is the usual unending treadmill of stuff to be done, you know how it is. Or even a writing evening would be good. There is one in the nearest city, just two-and-three-quarter hours of writing with other people, then chat afterwards. Fellow writers! Peace to write! Of course none of it will happen, but I dream that maybe one day...

In the meantime I am keeping on doing what I can, where I am, with what I have. Which is a little writing, on the dining table, in between loads of laundry, puppy walks, mealtimes etc. etc. I know it's the same for most people. In fact many writers have other jobs and squeeze it in around the edges. I always find it inspirational and motivational to hear about it. It keeps me going.

It's much the same for artists I think. And those in theatre. I was reading an article about how little stage actors and directors are paid the other day. Nowhere near enough to live on, it's a real labour of love. I can't find the article offhand, but it was a real eye-opener.

I did a series of interviews with local artists a while back for a local publication. Without exception they either had another job or someone help with a second income. And yet they were still fitting it in, passionate about making art and developing and learning. Motivational as I say. The most successful, in fact an extremely successful artist, who works full-time as an artist, told me about the year of no television when she produced eight works for a national exhibition that she won an award in.

So I shall keep going, slow and hopefully steady. And try and take the frustrations of things around here that suck time away in my stride.


  1. Nice, if rather wistful, post and picture. With husband, three boys and Bertie it's little wonder that you never have enough time. xx

  2. When I set my mind to doing something especially writing I don't like interruptions as it stops the flow. It must be quite difficult for you to do it in snatches, well done for keeping going. Hopefully as Bertie gets older you will have more time for writing. Sarah x

  3. I'm sure that it will all eventually come together. The poppy is adorable

  4. It looks like a perfect kind of mountain for a dog pup and a human pup to run up. Isn't it great how much energy both have? I imagine the mud sticks well in Bertie.... as do little twigs and leaves no doubt.

    I have an artist friend who works for the Dovecot Studios in Edinburgh three or four days a week, producing art for others, then spends the rest of the week including weekend on her own art. I don't know how she does it but I really admire her perseverance.

    I am really confident that you are going to make it as a writer. You have a wonderfully witty way with words and I often check-in here for a new post. Like a kid waiting for Christmas really.

    Have a wonderful week. xx

    1. Thank you for your lovely words Christina, they really mean a lot. CJ xx

  5. Small boys and dogs, such fun, such energy! I half miss it, half not (because I know I definitely don't have that energy anymore). I hope you get time and space for some writing, I'm looking forward to the time and space winter gives me to do some things for me. Have a good week.

  6. I so admire your taking the boys and the dog hiking to the top of your hill. Neat photos! I think I read that JK Rowling wrote in stolen moments on her kitchen table. You can follow in great footsteps! Another idea.. have the kids start taking over some chores to help out. Claim 2 hours in the day when the kids are at school? I used to stay up late after the kids went to bed to do things I wanted.. but then the kids had to get their own breakfast! LOL! You can do it! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  7. Family life is certainly very busy. I love to read what you have been up to. You have a talent for the written word. Hoping you manage to squeeze in a few peaceful moments.x

  8. I enjoyed the pictures of your adventure with your kids, Claire, and the pup - such beautiful, green scenery. Oh, to see that in person one day...

    You are spread thin, I can feel and hear the huge sigh you give in between sentences. It's never easy. Besides writing, I try to figure in time for exercise. The avid pro-health people claim that if you want it bad enough, you will find the time. Hogwash! Especially if you have children. I thought I would have a lot of free time once my children went off on their own. No, my days are filled with things I have to do, and things I want to do. Outside of my writing. The writing is my work, but I seem to put it on the back burner to keep up with housework, laundry, food shopping, watching my granddaughter, and though it seems like a great luxury, my trips to the lake have added to more time devoted to something that screws up my 'plan'.

    I think the writing group sounds interesting. I am always motivated by other writers, and even chatting with women and what books they have recently read. And I miss my reading time TERRIBLY!

    I hope you work through this. You have the talent. Don't wait until your are forty-five years old to find your mojo and become the writer you want to be (like me).

    Sending a good hug and vote of confidence!

    Jane x

  9. Do keep persevering with your writing because you have a lovely way with words, always laced with humour that makes what you write a real pleasure to read. I know as an artist how difficult it can be to make time for yourself. I often have days where I have plans to work on something and then go days without finding the time but it is important to try to fit it all in. And I'm great at not following my own advice! Have you thought about an hour at the library or a coffee shop? Sometimes just removing yourself from home can help.
    That looked like a lovely dog walk despite the mud. Sometimes Hector runs at warp speed around the kitchen for no apparent reason. It's no joke with a dog his size! I've got to take him to the vet for his stitches out this morning but I don't think there are any left!

  10. You must try to carve out time for your writing because you have a talent. Treat it like a job, if you can, and I'd do as Gina suggests and spend a couple of hours somewhere quiet and not at home where you may be distracted... Hang in there. (Bertie is one lucky dog :-)) Sam xx

  11. Things get easier as children (and dogs) get older. Life does have a habit of getting in the way of the best laid plans though, doesn't it?Making time for what makes you feel good is important, even if not always easy. Xx

  12. Oh my! I thought you would to tell us a story about a furry bundle spinning down the hill with legs, tail and ears flapping uncontrollably... with an happy ending of eventually stopping and just rising up and shaking his fur into place. What a scene. :) :o He must add lots of holding breath moments for you...

    I so can relate to the time away thing... the same for bloggers, right? Squeezing it in here and there and everywhere. I once took one night away nearby in a friend's chalet, just 90 minutes away, to work on a new website... Hubby stayed home with all kids and chores. Just the fact to drive away knowing I would be alone for almost 48 hours straight did amazing things to my creative spirit and soul. I instantly found my flow on arrival, forgot to eat and even go to the toilet... I was so in my bubble, completely oooozzzing of creativity. The day after hubby called to check in (and I almost got annoyed...) and when he heard my excitement he told me to stay one more night. I did. Went to the store. Bought myself a simple dinner. Had a cup of tea by the keyboard (which needed to be re-heated multiple times as it was forgotten in the creative flow...). Another 18 hours passed by and I almost finished my assignment. I went back home feeling a bit different than before.
    I often wonder if I wouldn't have given up my blog writing and story telling if I had a place to go to instead of sitting at home. I often wonder if I might have a story to tell in a larger format if I got the chance to take my time in peace and quiet by the keyboard... I actually think I do.
    If I were you, I would make it happen. For a day or two. There is a solution for everything. And when you have that passion burning inside, that is a sign... You need that getaway. What is holding you back? Go be creative. YOu will regret if you don't. It doesn't have to be far. It doesn't have to complicated. Just nearby in a B&B. One night only. Arrange sleep overs for kids, get hubby or neighbor to care for the dog. And just go. I feel strongly that you should.

    1. Annette, that sounds absolutely blissful, I can well imagine how great it felt. I fear I wouldn't be allowed to go, but, still here, doing what I can etc. Thank you for your lovely comment. CJ xx

  13. Up the hill and down the hill your party goes at varying speeds. It's sweet. The photos are lovely and transporting.

    Yes, keep up with the writing, slow and steady. It's like feeding a toddler. You can't think about it as a single day, but how'd you do during the week? Your life is like that, ebbs and flows of other people's momentum for now as well as your own. You'll be happy with a little progress one week a ton the next. You'll be disappointed if you have no progress. So a little, slow and steady is just great. All the best CJ

  14. Must be hard keeping all the balls in the air and carving space for writing, but it sounds like you're doing just that. As the saying goes, slow and steady wins the race.

  15. ah, know how where i come in with all of this. i'm still trying to sort it out and finding that being back at work has NOT helped matters AT ALL.

    gorgeous pics....i'm eternally jelly of all the glorious green. and your pictures of Bertie *almost* make me think i'd like a puppy. almost. :)xoxo

  16. Your pictures are beautiful, full of autumnal mist and mellowness. I am also inspires by the stories you shared of fellow creatives trying to carve out time to work. I just think you have to keep plugging away; we make time for the things that matter to us, which is why I will always find time to crochet but claim to be much too busy to go for a run.... Xx

  17. I can carve out time to write (preferably in the morning when my brain is fresher) but it's making time to think that's hard. My son is having a working break from uni (internship it's called but seems to involve a lot of sleeping and playstation) and so I'm back cooking man meals, shopping (he eats so much!), laundry, tidying - I'm sure you know what I mean! I think learning to focus fully while writing is the key (for me, at least) as I'm otherwise so easily distracted. Keep persevering, CJ, good habits will be built! xx