By Bonnie Harris
I've often used the phrases, "You have all the time in the world." or "If you really wanted to, you could." or "You can make time for anything." When I've used them, people have been polite, but I got the sense they were trying to stop an eye roll. In the past little while I've come to understand the hesitation in people and the temptation to eye roll when a phrase like that is used.
Time has a way of leaving me/us behind. I can never seem to get everything done and I wonder what I'm doing wrong. Recently, a friend said she feels like no she's having to make choices of what needs aren't going to be met. That just shows me how thin we spread ourselves and why some people don't like to hear that, "If you really wanted to, you could."
These phrases have been running through my head as I'm trying to figure out how and why my writing seems to have come to a halt at the moment. I ask myself where the time goes and wonder why I can't get everything done. Do I really have all the time in the world? Can I really make time for anything? I've doubted what my usual answer would be, but now I can answer confidently with a yes. I do have all the time in the world and yes, I can make time for anything.
It's lifted a burden from my shoulders as I've realized the answer to those questions. And as I analyze how I'm using my time, I'm chosing to be doing other things at the moment. Other things that are currently more important than my writing for now. I could chose to use my time differently and get that final edit done. I could chose to get those two new stories, that are driving me nuts in my head, down on paper. I could chose to do a lot of things, but at what sacrifice?
Right now, as much as I want to be writing, it's not worth the sacrifice. There are other things that are taking presidence. Sarah M Eden said essentially the same thing. She planned on doing a ton of writing one summer and ended up not getting anything done, because her kids needed her. She didn't kick herself or regret not getting it done, she just did the more important thing at the moment and made up the difference later. The other profound statement she made was to remember that even writing in a journal (or a blog post) is considered writing.
So even though my WIP is not where I'd like it to be, I'm comforted in the fact that it really is my choice. I'm still writing on a daily basis even though it may not be exactly what I had in mind. With the new year well under way, don't forget that we can truly choose how we use our precious time. It may not be exactly how we'd like to spend that time, but it is probably what is needed at the moment. Take comfort in the fact that I/you/we are doing exactly what we should be doing. At least it's making me feel better about things. :)
Happy New Year!