I’ve posted a new profile picture to facebook, one that says I’m not checking facebook too often these days. In all honesty, that’s a lie. As of five minutes ago, I’ve checked facebook no fewer than half a dozen times today. The frequent checking stems from frequent nursings. I find myself antsy when I nurse, my enormously long to-do list creating a simmering sense of urgency that makes the moments spent nursing feel wasted. Of course they are not wasted moments. Feeding my child the most nutritious of foods so that he can have the healthiest start to life is not wasted time. But I’m nervous, anxious all the time, and such anxiety makes those minutes feel unproductive. I bring my cell phone to nursings under the guise that I will check and respond to work email. That never happens. Rather, I spend those minutes surfing facebook and scrolling through my google reader. The google reader is actually productive, spurning ideas for projects and keeping me up to speed on literary developments. But the facebook. Oh the facebook! Those minutes spent scrolling through someone’s photos, reading status updates that are sometimes clever, sometimes funny, sometimes newsworthy, but that are more often, mundane–those are hours I’ve truly wasted.
And so I’ve posted a photo indicating I’m not checking facebook as often, with perhaps a glimmer of hope it will become a self-fulfilling prophesy. And in the hours I spend nursing everyday, I hope to fill my mind and my heart with things about which I more passionately care. I will still flip through my google reader, finding articles and stories and projects to love. But perhaps more importantly, I will use this piece of smartphone technology to fill those nursing moments with writing. Xander nurses three or four times a day, for twenty or so minutes each session. Simply writing during those windows of time affords me a found hour or two of time to read (both blogs and books) and to write. Every. Day.
And so I began this nursing session with the intention of wandering back to my novel. I intended to pick a place, pick any place, and to pick a character, any character, and to start writing, to write my way back into the story. To my despair, I found I had forgotten my characters. I have been away from them so long, I can’t even remember some of their names. Richard, but he disappears after the first chapter (or does he?). The girl’s name is Rayne, isn’t it? And Caroline. And Silvia. Is that right? I can’t quite remember, but trapped here with my breast out and my son latched on, I can’t simply go check.
And thus born is a resolve taken one step further. I will not only use these nursing minutes to catch up on blogs and write drivel. I will use these minutes to rediscover my characters, to find their story and tell it. I will use these minutes spent nursing my son to write my novel.