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Finding time to write: A transition

Finding the time to write takes discipline and time management. Most of us are inspired by thoughts of escaping the family by writing poetry in sealed cards, think of Raymond Carver. When I shared the news that my novel was released, I received a collection of expressions. Surprise was the first, followed by questions such as, “Where do you find the time to write? I didn’t know you wrote? What is the novel about? Do you think they’d make it into a movie?” This brings me to this essay. I have loved writing since I was a boy; I’d sit on top of the staircase landing and write stories or draw. The stories were not important to me, it was the fact I was using my imagination and could feel this simmering joy. I was tapping into a force, some call it Zen others the force of God, creating…whatever it was, I was at peace in the world in my little corner on top of the landing.
For many years I followed the paths that other writers made. Like Kerouac I joined the Navy and worked as a merchant marine. I was also a house painter, construction worker, farm hand. I had some short stories published and poetry. But I was avoiding the practicality life. Being responsible for my actions, my savings, pursuing a college degree and finding a career were not acceptable. I was the grand escape artist who wanted to live many lives, experience the rush of life and barely survive; I wanted to suffer for my art until a friend told me life should not be about suffering. After years of running I realized I was lost.
Life blesses us, we adapt to our struggles and surroundings. I settled down, married a beautiful articulate woman and we began to raise our children on shared principles like respect and love. My writing eventually drifted back to the weekends and only when the chores and bills were paid. If I was lucky I wrote for a few hours on Saturday. The more children we had the less time there was to write. With four children, my passion to write was transferred to watching my loves become amazing individuals.
When my hours changed at work and I was frequently late. My boss suggested leaving the house earlier, but I was already on the road for an hour and a half each way. I could leave at 6:45 to start at 9…but he also suggested looking into the train. What a great suggestion. Commuting was a blessing. I discovered the lost time and could use the ride to write. One night while on the train I was alone in the cabin and realized anyone could take me out and there would be no witnesses. That moment was the inspiration for Killer Commute. I don’t complain if the fares go up or if there are delays. The train has salvaged my simmering joy.

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