Photograph copyright: DAVID McMAHON
A childhood friend of mine is the inspiration for this post. He's been in Melbourne for a week, staying with us - and I asked him what he planned to do with the start he had made on what sounds like a terrific novel.
But time is his problem. He is an overseas correspondent for a newspaper and so he's on call 24/7 and travels constantly. Yep, I can understand the pressure. But he's a gifted writer, a committed wildlife expert, a wonderful photographer and an award-winning documentary maker.
It would have been remiss of me to let him leave his novel to gather dust. So I told him about my ``narrow window'' theory. You see, we all have demands on our time. But is it possible to set aside even ten or fifteen minutes each day to write? It's a very narrow window of opportunity, but one that could potentially yield great creativity.
There is an added advantage to that sort of approach. Regular work on a manuscript sends your brain into ``plot gear''. Simply put, it means ideas will regularly pop up with an efficiency that would be absent if we didn't work regularly on a manuscript.
A fellow blogger, Kai, recently posted 60 Minutes and said, "Most of us have hectic lives, rushing about, doing, being, becoming ... Then there's a magic few minutes when we have time to create. I am learning how to use 60 minutes of my time to create more efficiently and with better results."
Good on you, Kai. I call it creative efficiency. We just need to recognise it and create a regular niche for it.
Do I practise what I preach? Abso-bloody-lutely, mate. I have a full-time job. I am a 100 per cent hands-on father. I follow my passion for photography. I am a daily blogger. But I still set aside some time in a joyfully cluttered day for my writing.