Shaun Levin

An Hour a Day

In Writing on August 22, 2021 at 12:38 pm

It’s the day itself that overwhelms, how to fill it now that we’ve taken eight hours off to write, morning noon and night, to work on whatever it is that we’re working on, and wasn’t the plan so wonderful, delicious, what a delicious plan to take the day off, no kids, we sent the kids to school, or to their gran, where did we send the kids, babe, and we said, the whole day, we’ll write, we’ll get so much done, we’re ordering take aways, we’re doing a 10 minute HIIT workout to start the day, fresh, showered, all fresh and lemoney, so ready to start the day, I mean if we usually get 1000 an hour, that’s at least 5000 for the whole day, it’s going to be great.

Obviously that’s not how it worked out, did it, babe? We were so distracted by the amount of time we had, by Dan and Sue coming and going, and the garbage trucks, I mean do they always make so much noise, and the letter we should be writing to the agent, did you get that letter out to the agent, we’ll do it afterwards, afterwards, let’s focus. Can we focus here, please? Stop talking to me. You in your room and me in mine and the whole day is ours. What if we fail, we’re already failing, I mean it’s been about an hour and look what I’ve got done and you’ve done even less, or maybe a bit more, it’s not a competition, but we do have to get stuff done because at the end of the day there’ll be the letters to write and the children to feed, never mind ourselves, we don’t need to eat.

What if I disappear?

What if I run out of things to say?

How does one fill so many pages in so many hours where does inspiration come from whose suggestion was it to take the whole day off I mean we were hungry for it so hungry for this writing time and it’s not as if it this is the first time, I mean it hasn’t worked in the past remember Paris and that day we wrote all day, going from café to café, museum to museum, one park one gallery to another, writing writing writing maybe we should do this in the garden or, wait, I’ll nip out for coffees and we can pretend we’re in a café lets go to a café I’ll take my notebook you take your laptop and we’ll go write in a café and no one will be here when the parcel arrives we promised the kids we’d be here when the parcel arrives.

What if we just did an hour. Like just an hour. We can say we wrote for the whole day but we’ll just write for an hour. We’ll take the whole day off and just do whatever we want and for the next hour, look it’s almost noon, we can start at noon and go for an hour, then make lunch. We’ll make lunch not order lunch no need to order lunch we’ll take the time to make lunch after this hour of writing, just focus for an hour, that’s all we need, an hour, I mean we’ve done it before, haven’t we done an hour before, an hour here an hour there and it was fun and we felt like we’d accomplished something i mean we had accomplished something because an hour a day is accomplishable and it’s easy to measure and it’s easy to sit and we don’t have to reach the end of the day like dried-out creatures drained of their blood and we can end on a high note, wanting more, gagging for more, and when we have that hour tomorrow, I mean how happy are we going to be when tomorrow’s hour is available to us and we know exactly where we left off today which will be yesterday remember yesterday when we wrote and everything was exciting and ripe and we just wanted more, but the clock struck one and we put our pens down and closed the lid of our laptops and went to the kitchen and opened the fridge and my god those eggs look delicious and they smell delicious frying in all that butter and the toast my god that toast smells delicious toasting in the toaster and we’re like, maybe we can sneak in another hour after lunch but we don’t we savour this till tomorrow because tomorrow there’ll be an hour somewhere in the day, somewhere between chores and duties and picking the kids up from ballet or tap or singing.

  1. Oh my goodness me, Shaun this is SO true. I get up every morning and think, today I’ll write. Then the paper arrives and has to be read over muesli and a cup of Beetroot tea. And possibly taken back to bed with a cup of coffee. And the husband is still asleep – well we are both retired! And before you know it it’s lunch time. We have salad because it’s easy, and fruit for pudding.
    I like to watch the lunchtime news and shout at the incompetent so-called M.P’s, then check what’s on ‘catch-up’ and before you know it it’s tea time and more news to shout at and the husband likes to watch Last of the Summer Wine and listen to music on radio 3. Then it’s bed time and I haven’t even written in my journal!.
    Where did the day go?

  2. Number one son introduced ius to Beetroot tea. It’s made by Twinings and is available in our local Sainsburys, which is where the son works. He works nights and I think he spends his time wandering round the shelves discovering new and exciting things. The tea is Beetroot (obviously) ginger and orange and is delicious.

  3. As Monica said, this is so relatable. I love the breathless guilt that underpins the piece, as if you can talk your way out of not having written. Which you have, by writing about not writing, you are writing. Way to go Monica.

    • Thanks, Michelle. I think that’s the trick with writing in general, to find ways to trick ourselves into writing. Oh, I’m just taking notes/having a rant/replying to an email/talking about my granny.

  4. Why is it so easy to write these pieces in reply to something that really hits home? I didn’t have to think about what I was going to write, it just appeared on the screen. Now why can’t I write like that with stuff I want to write. I guess I haven’t got a prompt, or some sort of inspiration from somewhere else. That’s why I love writing groups, to get inspiration, or good prompts to set me off on a tangent that I didn’t know existed. So, here I am, again, writing about not writing. And I’ve written!!

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