There is no time to write. If the past six months of my life have taught me anything, that’s it. Today is the first day in a very long time that I have had all to myself. The plan was very simple: wake up, shower, write. I have no other responsibilities today, so it seemed a perfectly plausible idea. So plausible, in fact, that I put off writing earlier this week because I was so certain I would have all the time I needed to do it today. That was my first mistake.

     No sooner had I lifted my head from the pillow than my phone began ringing, my doorbell chiming, and the unforeseen duties began piling up. I spent the day arguing on the phone, making plans, breaking plans, texting the information back and forth between the concerned parties, changing reservations, making amends, and then turning around and changing everything back to the way it had originally been planned in the first place. All the while, chapter nineteen of the book I am currently working on is sitting still, waiting for me to get around to it.

     I have been on chapter nineteen for about a month now, I think. I just haven’t had time to write. I am in the middle of an out-of-state move. I have a new person living with me temporarily. I will begin babysitting my nephew full-time next week. I’ve been cleaning the house inside and out to keep it in pristine condition for open houses and interested buyers. I am full of shit.

     The reason the writing is not getting done is because I haven’t been making it happen. Life is life and it goes on with or without us. The “I just don’t have the time to write” excuse is a crutch I swore I’d never lean on, and up until now, I have done a pretty good job avoiding it. I avoided that excuse so well, in fact, that I didn’t even realize I was using it until today.  Yes, my life is a mess right now. Everything is up in the air and I am juggling too many things to keep track of. My life is a whole different story from one day to the next right now. Aren’t these pretty good reasons not to write?

     The answer, sadly, is no. In truth, this is the best time to be writing. Writing focuses me, brings me peace of mind and allows me to express myself explicitly without apology. Right now, more than ever, I should be writing. I have taken too many breaks from it and they have lasted too long. My goal was to have this project finished by July 15, 2011. I don’t know if that will happen or not but I am going to keep trying for it. The book I’m working on now is a collaborative effort with Kim Williams-Justesen, author of the Hey Ranger! books, My Brother the Dog, and co-author of Love and Loathing. Kim has been waiting on me for some time now, as we’re writing alternating chapters and she can not get very far ahead without me. I have been using the world-famous “I don’t have time” excuse for several weeks now and it’s time to put that mindset to a quick death before it gains enough momentum to become a habit.

     There is no time to write, it’s true. There’s also no time to grocery shop, pay bills, raise kids, maintain a full-time job, exercise, eat right, have pets, do dishes, read books, or floss those hard-to-reach teeth that always manage to attract the attention of those wayward, stubborn popcorn kernels.

        When I finished my first book, Kim bought me a very nice silver pocket watch as gift. In that book, there’s a pocket watch that has symbolic meaning to the story, and I know that Kim meant it as a reminder of my accomplishment and about how important my writing is to me. While it will still serve that purpose, I am, as of today, assigning it an additional meaning: I will keep that watch with me to remind me that time can not be created, it can not be destroyed, and it can not be otherwise controlled. But it can be managed.

     Twenty-four hours is all we have. I do not have less or more time than you, and you do not have less or more time than me. I bought into the excuse of just not having any time, and as a result, my self-respect took a hefty blow to the solar plexus. It won’t happen again.

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Comments
  1. Linda Bennett says:

    Jared, I do hope you find peace of mind. I feel in my heart that you will indeed finish by your deadline. I am keeping you in my prayers, that you find that peace.

  2. Venom says:

    Well but instead of writing this entry, you could have pushed a lil forward with your chapter nineteen!!

  3. I’ve been there. Wait, I am there. I’ve had the last six months off and still struggle with productivity. I changed the focus of my goals from the amount of time spent to actual chore to accomplish. That helped some. My other problem is comparing myself to other authors who seem like lightning (i.e., Elana Johnson wrote ten books in one year). Comparing is totally illogical. Elana doesn’t research or outline and I do, so it’s like comparing apples to oranges.

    Your blog is always well thought out, and I love the pictures you find to go with it! Here’s to finding balance!

    • Thanks Mary Ann. I think we all tend to compare ourselves. The key, I think, is to compare yourself to people who are worse than you LOL… that’s where happiness lies… HA HA. I am kidding. Thanks for reading.

  4. Ariel says:

    I still think creating protected time and space is the way to go, but you need an aggressive Muse, too. I never have just one project at a time. Like all my other qualities, what is my greatest strength can be flipped to be my greatest weakness. Having a full palette of projects means being able to write on a schedule in the sense that I write everyday and can do it on a schedule if I am strict enough to make life comply. However, it doesn’t stop me from falling into the avoidance trap, either. Half of the books I was supposed to recreate after my PC and laptop were taken in Dec 09 are still undone, yet I have the finished material for twice as many books overall–and the cash cow one is the one I am avoiding completing due to the content and the public stuff that will come with it. So it helps not to be in conflict with your motivations, too.

    • Good point, Ariel. It’s nice to hear from someone with so many similar qualities. And yeah… I need an aggressive muse, lol. One day (in private) we will have to discuss the various forms this can take, lol!Thanks for reading.

  5. Kim Justesen says:

    We will make the deadline – chaos or not. We both view writing as a sanctuary, so let’s both spend a little more time there. I will, of course, taunt you ruthlessly if you don’t, you know that. Better yet – no more of my infamous Key Lime pie until 19 is finished!

    You know who you are to me – I know you won’t disappoint me.

  6. voodoomother says:

    There is nothing I can say here, that everybody else hasn’t already said Magick Man.

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