More Than 100 Stories is a commission led by artists Sarah Butler and Nicole Mollet that explores and creatively maps the Creative People and Places programme.

There is never enough



When someone says, 'Can I have a minute,' they are not talking about sixty seconds. There are not sixty of those kinds of minutes in an hour.

They say it flies when you're having fun. But the same goes for having a deadline.

Put a timer on and suddenly everything's pressurised. Each shudder of a clock's hand, each grain of sand marks another loss.

We are anticipating the end – of the sand, the day, the week, the summer, the financial year, the funding period, our careers.

Top creative writing tip: is your story lacking pace? Try adding a ticking clock.

We only have so much of it.

Balance – this is what we are all aiming for, between our work, our personal lives, our own small and bigger pictures. We have to work out how much to allocate to what. It is pretty much impossible to get it right.

Negative thinking isn't going to help.

The sand in the timer leaves a residue as it falls – a light dusting of grains on the curve of the glass. Free time? Time left over? Time unspent?

It never stops.

'Excuse me, do you have the time?' For what?

Once upon a time, a woman tried to write about time in fifteen minutes. She couldn't stop looking at the falling yellow sand of her egg timer. It made it hard to concentrate. She wrote with her heart up in her throat and her breath shallow in her chest.

It is almost done.

She is out of time.


Written in 15 minutes (exactly!) in response to numerous responses to the question 'Life has many burdens and obstacles. What prevents you from being more creative?' at the CPP Conference in Stoke.