What began as an effort to remove unnecessary screens from my working hours has since morphed into an effort to remove time. My watch is turned upside down; the clock on my Macbook banished from the menu bar. The only clock is an Echo Dot with a 20 minute timer set for these pieces and an alarm set for 955AM to signal that it’s time to get ready for the day’s run.
Time, like a word count, brings with it—for me—a permission to run down the clock. With each glance, the part of my brain that refuses to be present and functions only in relation to something else gives itself permission to waste time, to detach from the world of the story being written and drown itself in the “real world” of self-imposed responsibilities and unjustified perceptions of guilt over the selfishness of my chosen vocation.
I recognize, of course, that I let my brain do this to itself. I give it permission. I’m working to give that permission the same treatment as the clock on the menu bar.