Jill Weatherholt

Writing Stories of Love, Faith and Happy Endings While Enjoying the Journey

Tempus Fugit

36 Comments

HourglassWhen I was in high school, my most dreaded class was Algebra. I just didn’t get it. I tried so hard. Once a week, I stayed after school for extra help. My good friend, who was a math whiz tried to help, but something was missing.

During class, I tried to hide my head behind the student in front of me, but I was too tall. My palms got sweaty when I thought the teacher would call me to the chalkboard to work a problem. I stared at the clock, willing it to move faster, but the hands moved slow like grains of sand through an hourglass.

Thankfully, I’ve never faced an Algebraic problem since those dreaded days. English was a different story, I thrived. I especially enjoyed the creative writing assignments. Even then, my biggest obstacle was sitting down and staying put until the words were on the page.

I’m easily distracted. I can have an entire afternoon open for writing, but I’ll keep popping up to do this or clean that. Recently I discovered a solution to this jack-in-the-box predicament. It’s an hourglass and it’s changed the way I write.

Sitting on my patio staring at the lake and daydreaming doesn’t make me a writer. In the past, a daily or weekly word count goal was my modus operandi. I’ve discovered having a time limit set by the hourglass has improved my ability to stay focused. As the sand flows through the glass, the most important thing isn’t the quality or quantity, but the fact that I’m writing.

To grow as a writer, I must make the time to write on a consistent basis, without interruptions. For whatever reason, this gadget with the sand trickling from one end of the glass bulb to the other, has kept me in my chair. Some days, after the last granular of sand has fallen,  I’ll flip it over and keep writing. That’s a good day.

 

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Author: Jill Weatherholt

My name is Jill Weatherholt and I’m a writer. I have a full-time job, but at night and on the weekend, I pursue my passion, writing. I write modern stories about love, friendship and forgiveness. I started this blog as a way to share my journey toward publication and to create a community for other new writers. Raised in the Washington, DC area, I’ve lived in Charlotte, North Carolina since 2004. I hold a degree in Psychology from George Mason University and a Certification in Paralegal Studies from Duke University. My first book, SECOND CHANCE ROMANCE, will release in March, 2017. It's now able for pre-order on Amazon. I was the first place winner in the Dream Quest One Short Story Contest in the Winter 2014-2015 competition. In 2014, I placed second in Southern Writers Magazine Short Story Contest. I was also a top ten finalist in Southern Writers Magazine Short Story Contest in 2012 and 2013. I’m a 2010 and 2012 winner of the NaNoWriMo Contest. I love to connect readers, visit me at jillweatherholt.com

36 thoughts on “Tempus Fugit

  1. I can appreciate this (the putting a time to your writing – not the anxiety about algebra). Truth be told, I set myself a period to write last night and squandered it away… Discipline these days towards my writing has been sorely lacking. Glad to see something is working for you.

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    • Well, it’s working for now, so I plan to milk it for what it’s worth. Believe me, I can certainly relate to “squandering” away time set aside to write. Thanks for stopping by. Have a great weekend!

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  2. We all have to do whatever it takes to get the rear in the chair and keep it there. That’s why I rise at 4AM most days – it’s the only time the house is quiet and distraction-free. I’ve played around with it, trying different times and techniques, but the predawn hours I spend with a cup of coffee and my Mac consistently render my best writing.

    Your hourglass trick is a new one to me; I don’t know of anyone else who does it. I’m glad you found what works best for you. It’s truly unique.

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    • I wonder if there’s a strong enough glue to keep us in our chair? I know you’re an early riser, like me. You’re usually the first to comment. You’re right, the quiet time in the morning is a perfect time to write. If I don’t go on to the internet first, that’s the time I’m normally most productive. Have a great weekend, Gwen! Hopefully you all have dried out a bit.

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  3. It seems like something always gets in the way of the writing time. I need an hourglass I can turn sideways and stop everything so I can have some peace.

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    • I guess it’s life that gets in our way, Eric. You’re funny ~ I don’t know if turning the hourglass sideways will stop time, but you can give it a try. You’re a night owl, you should have a little peace in the wee hours of the morning. Wishing you a peaceful weekend!

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      • I’m a night owl, but I still have to get up at 6:45 in the morning. Bleah. Thanks for the well wishes on my opportunity to write this weekend. Between visiting my brother in law in Philly tonight (Friday), taking my son to the dentist tomorrow morning, visiting my mom for mother’s day tomorrow night, writing my weekend webzine piece for my L.A. friends (overnight Saturday), doing something for my wife for mother’s day (Sunday), and working on a freelance editing project (Sunday night), I’ll have about three minutes and 14 seconds to work on my fiction.

        Hey! Where are you going? You don’t want to hear me whine?

        Jill?

        ……..

        Hmmm. I got a lot of white space to play with here.

        **dances around, hoping no one is watching**

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      • Where am I going? I’m going to take a nap after listening to your schedule…I’m exhausted! Well, there’s always next weekend! Family time is important…enjoy!

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  4. What a great idea to use the hourglass! Knowing me, I’d probably stare at the sand falling rather than write! 🙂 I get distracted easily as well! My 7th grade Math teacher made me cry when I stayed after school for help. I hear you!

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    • Well, I’ll confess…I often stare at the sand falling when I get stuck. It’s actually very relaxing and calms me down a little bit. I was reading about the various uses for hourglasses; some people use them for meditation. Lol….our teachers must have been related. I cried many tears. Have a great weekend!

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  5. The distraction thing seems to be quite common with creative types, doesn’t it? I had the same problems you did in 7th grade algebra, but when I decided years later to get my degree, I HAD to pass college algebra–gulp! Once I approached it as a puzzle to be solved, I figured out a way to make it happen. That’s a lot like writing, I think–you have to figure out a system that works for you and just do it. I love the hourglass idea; it’s so much sexier than an alarm!

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    • Boy Candace, you must have been more advanced; taking Algebra in the 7th grade. My palms are sweating thinking about college Algebra..yuck! Good for you, approaching it like a puzzle. Fortunately, I didn’t have to take it in college, I would have never graduated. Lol….well, the hourglass won’t wake you up like an alarm, if you happen to doze off. 🙂 Happy Friday and congratulations on your one year anniversary with your editing business!

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  6. I’m very easily distracted when I’m trying to write (and I use the words “trying to” on purpose!) 😉

    I’ve never liked numbers and even if I’m reading a novel with numbers in it I will skip over them as if they don’t exist! Algebra? Yikes!

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    • It’s nice to hear an accomplished author like yourself struggles with the distractions. I appreciate that, Dianne. I think part of your distractions stem from all of the funky bugs and critters that like to visit you. 🙂 I’m with you, Algebra was the pits and Geometry wasn’t a walk in the park for me either. Have a great weekend!

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  7. Funny thing is I was good at math in school, still think math is the sexiest science, I hated English and I yet get paid to write for a living. Funny old world, isn’t it?

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  8. It is funny how our lives turn out. I worked with numbers for 20+ years, now I avoid them as much as I can. I’m curious what paths you traveled that brought you to the writing world. Hum….I never thought of math as a “sex science” perhaps that was my problem…. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

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  9. I wasn’t a big algebra person, either. My oldest sister was really good at math and science, and it made it that much harder for me because I felt like I didn’t really live up to her reputation, but English was my subject, too. 🙂 Love the idea of an hourglass – I might have to give that a try!

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  10. I hate math to this day. Anything dealing with words is a different story. And yeah, you must write consistently or else it becomes a dream you watch other folk do as you read their books.

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    • Me too! I’m thankful those dreaded math days are behind me. “You must write consistently or else it becomes a dream you watch other folk do as you read their books.” Well said! In order to make writing a habit, it must be done consistently. Thanks for stopping by!

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  11. What a great idea Jill – I’m easily distracted too. If this doesn’t improve I’m going to make a small investment in one. PS – your Latin is perfect!

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  12. Lovely post Jill. I hated algebra but luckily my uncle who lived next door and was an army engineer taught me the shortcuts to everything in algebra even to check if the answers were correct or not. He was a genius in algebra. I then started to love algebra. He taught me everything in two weeks which I could not learn from my teacher in a year. Lol now I drink a lot of tea to stimulate my brain to lie awake but it makes me very very sleepy. Funny isn’t it. I am going to try the hourglass to see if I can concentrate more. Distraction is a big problem with me too. Thanks for the beautiful post Jill and have a nice weekend.

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    • You were fortunate to have your uncle explain algebra in a way that made it easy for you. Even if I understood it, I’m not sure I could ever “love it” like you did. 🙂 There are certain teas that despite the caffeine content, make me a little sleepy also. I guess I get a little too relaxed. Thanks for stopping by, Samina. I hope you have a great weekend as well!!

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  13. Great strategy to stay in your chair and write, Jill! More power to you. 🙂

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    • Thanks, Jolyse! You know what it’s like; our writing time is limited so we have to utilize it the best way we can. I hope you and your family are doing well. Have a wonderful Mother’s Day!

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  14. What a neat idea! I get distracted easily as well. I usually set the timer on my stove, but not for writing…for housework!

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  15. Yor school days sound very similar to my own – any sort of maths was – and is – a complete mystery!

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  16. It still is for me as well, Jenny. Boy, I’m glad those days are behind me! 🙂

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