Sometimes, easier is harder.
Before I was out of bed this morning, the phone rang. It was the client for whom I was working on two rush projects, plus two other projects that technically weren’t rushes but which had imminent deadlines. I wasn’t ready for a perky, “So, how’re we doing on [insert project name]?”
“Go to voicemail,” I growled, secure in the knowledge that he couldn’t hear me.
By the time I’d showered and was preparing breakfast for the cats, two more calls had come in, one from the same client’s office and the other from someone else. I let each of them go to voicemail. I would return calls when the office opened, and that wasn’t going to happen before the cats were fed and the tea was ready.
As I was supervising the cats to ensure everyone ate from their own dishes, a text came in. It was a friend who’d read last night’s blog post. She assured me that she’d “have a few words with the two Thomases—More and Aquinas—to take care of a fellow writer and lawyer.”
It helps to know the right people.
Because as it turned out, the client was calling to say that one of the rush projects was cancelled because that case settled. After a brief moment of regret that I’d started with the other one and so I couldn’t bill for the cancelled one, I paused to revel in my suddenly comparatively-open schedule. I still had several things to research, write, and send to clients before the day’s end, but all at once, I felt as if I had . . . free time.
It was a delightfully normal day. I did some billing, made some calls, did some research, drafted some documents, and wrote some emails. Then, I went outside to mow the lawn which had been unmown all season in honor of #NoMowMay, an event where people refrain mowing their lawns in early spring to assist the pollinators such as butterflies and bees in finding nutrition. The grass was embarrassingly high, but I mowed and trimmed until the property looked occupied again. Once I’d finished, I came in for a shower to ensure I hadn’t brought in any ticks which, according to reports, are rampant this year. (As it happened, I did bring one in, but I smashed it against the shower wall with the can of shaving cream.) Then I did an online jigsaw puzzle, fixed dinner (which included actual cooking rather than merely nuking leftovers), and fed the cats, and settled in to watch Schitt’s Creek over dinner.
Through all this, it periodically crossed my mind that I needed to write, but I didn’t feel any particular urgency. I pushed the thought aside in favor of taking time to rest and relax with Johnny and Moira and David and Alexis. Finally, around 10:30, I made myself turn off the television and write.
Here’s the funny part: last night and the night before, when I was cramming in writing around work, I happily grabbed at the opportunity to add to my novel. Tonight, when the evening stretched out before me, redolent with leisure, I had to force myself to set aside the Rose family and put original words on the page.
I’m not yet certain what to make of this development. You’d think it would be easier to write when there’s more time–time to think, to dream, to create. The notion that it could somehow be easier to make a story when the creative moments are being shoehorned in among the crises is . . . curious. And yet, when I look at the past three days, that’s how life has been.
Tomorrow, I have more work to do, both billable and administrative, but no crises (as far as I know). I also have errands to do, including food shopping (which I haven’t done in two weeks—tonight’s chicken came from the depths of the freezer). As far as what I’ll write and when, I’ll leave you with my mother’s famous proverb: “As the elephant said when he shit on the sidewalk, ‘That remains to be seen.’”