Saturday, March 10, 2012

Crannying: Finding the time to write

One of the questions I get asked the most is "Where do you find the time to write?" Usually after, "How much money have you made so far? Is that rude to ask? It is, isn't it? But seriously, how much?"

I find time because I cranny. To some friends, an after work drink starts at 9.30pm on a Monday night. Are you kidding me?! I am done by 9.30. I'm halfway to bed, and the other half of me is watching Frasier and drinking a chamomile tea. The movie starts at 8.30? Screw that, we're seeing the 7pm session, and we're eating beforehand.

It's friends who don't see me more than every fortnight or month or so who ask the finding-the-time question. Probably because the see me of an evening or weekend with a glass of wine in my hand, make-up on and in a dress. It's very difficult to be stressed or distracted with half a bottle of pinot noir or grigio sloshing through your veins.

If it's a birthday or engagement or I've got cabin fever, I'll stay out late. But most of the time I won't. I'll have an early night, and be up at 5am on a weekday, staggering to the kettle with a small black cat sitting on my shoulder.

My really close friends know I cranny. Cranny is a made up word. It's like a piking but piking not because you're lame (I hope) or a socially awkward penguin (I hope even more), but because you have to be up early. And of your own volition. Sometimes I get to drop that everso dramatic, self-important word, "deadline". But mostly I get up early because I want to."Want to" is a bit misleading though. I become irritable if I haven't written a few thousand words in a while. It's like withdrawal from a drug. I feel a high after a good writing session. I imagine it's because I've been writing regularly since the start of 2009. It's become a habit, and not one I feel the need to kick. (I did kick the boyfriend out this morning, though. Poor thing. We did lie in till 10.30am but there was no hand-holdy breakfast, no idle, "Oh what a lovely day, shall we go out?" conversation. Just me with a mad glint in my eye, edging towards the laptop.)

"Cranny" probably came from that commercial for cranberry juice that goes, "Where's the cranny, granny?" It doesn't make a lot of sense, but a dear friend made it up and it sounds suitably nanna-ish and sensible. And that's me making time for my writing really: nanna-ish and sensible. But I get sh%* done. (Not my tax returns though.)


  1. I haven't done my taxes yet either - stress!

    Finding time is tough, but it's doable if you work at it! :)

  2. Know how you feel. My writing gets done late at night, because I have to be out of the house by 6.35 am for work. I just couldn't write at 5.00 am. With an iPad, though, I can edit on the train. I bought Pages and can now word process. Much simpler than sitting over the laptop late at night. But with teaching, it's harder to concentrate on my own stuff. You do make time, though. Crannying, nice word for what we do. I like it!

  3. That's exactly how I feel when I'm editing photos. Except it's much harder to cranny when there are so many episodes of Being Human (UK) yet to watch....

    So.... The new cover....
    Again with the excitement and squeeing!!!! I can't wait to see the finished book. *so many hugs*

  4. Hey lady! Miss you! Loved this post, I always understand when you cranny any of our plans! Make art or perish is my motto!