There is only so much time. Each day has the same twenty-four hours; we just have to decide how we are going to use them. I saw a quiz (or maybe it was an app) on several friends’ Facebook pages this week. Apparently, the gizmo calculates how much time you spent on Facebook over the past year. I don’t think that any of the “totals” I saw were less than 1700 hours. *reaches for calculator* Uhhhhhh…that comes out to nearly SEVENTY-ONE DAYS on Facebook. Seriously. Seventy-one freakin’ days…nothing but Facebook. Now, honestly, who knows how accurate the thing is; but still, it made me think about how I spend my time.
There are a lot of things that simply have to be done each day, whether we like it or not. Life is full of time suckers. There is the commute to work (for me, that kills nearly 1.5 each day). I try to make use of that commute time, though—most days that becomes my Talk Time. I call my parents and talk about my day, their day, the kids, their health. And I consider that time well spent. I’m getting older which, of course, means they are, too. I want to make sure that I get in all the talks I can…while I can. *knock wood*
I also try to spend a bit of time each weekday on Twitter and Facebook connecting with friends, and readers, and people that will become friends and might someday read my stories. (Weekends I try to stay off social media, because, you know, Family Time.) And, like my parental talk time, this is precious, too. Some of my dearest friends are those I have never met in person, but when my husband had his heart attack they rallied around me. They are important.
I spend most lunch hours writing, but it isn’t enough—not nearly enough. I have been contemplating doing NaNoWriMo this year. If you haven’t heard, November is National Novel Writing Month. And, if you weren’t aware, yours truly is writing a novel. It is unlike anything I’ve written before, and if I can somehow coax All The Things In My Head onto the page then maybe I can do the story justice. But first, I need to finish the first draft. This is where NaNoWriMo comes in.
Apparently, I need deadlines (I also really need to win the lottery, but that’s another post). When left to my own devices, I meander and wander and lollygag. I need a firm end point in order to get things done. Yes, I know, NaNoWriMo is an artificial, self-imposed deadline. The world will not end if I don’t finish the first draft, no one will be sad or let down…except me. So if fake deadlines will make it happen, fake deadlines I shall have.
There are twenty four hours in the day, and I am squandering them. I am letting far too many hours slip through my fingers, and I can’t get that time back. But I can try to make the most of my time from here on out.
I can’t blame having young kids, or needing to cook or clean, or having to work full time, or having familial health issues—plenty of people have had all of these Real Life Things to contend with and STILL managed to write best sellers, or Science the Heck Out of Things, or write music, or…whatever. The difference is that they made their Thing a priority. That squeezed in a few minutes here, a few minutes there. They got up earlier, or went to bed later, or made story notes on the back of their grocery list while waiting in line, or at their kids’ bus stop, or on the sidelines at football practice.
There is always a good reason to NOT do The Thing You Love. There is always an excuse for why it has to take a backseat to All The Other Things. But the thing is, when all is said and done, I don’t want to have another excuse. I want to have another story (hopefully well told) to share.
So, starting today, I am going to “mind my moments” and try to use them to the best effect. And *nervous sigh* I am going to commit to NaNoWriMo. I might even share some of my daily words here…if I am feeling particularly brave (or masochistic, depending how you look at it).
Wish me luck.