When 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.