Time is not on our side. Each passing day takes with it an opportunity. The chance to be or become or strive for a life that currently exists only within our imaginations; that chance to become our true selves slips away by degrees with each sunset.
Though not a religious or spiritual person, I find enormous comfort in the Five Remembrances of Buddha, especially "I am of the nature to die. There is no way to escape death." Why? Does it seem morose? Well, I am a morose person I suppose, but it inspires an urgency to accomplish.
I know of several people who've been working on their novels for years, some as long as a decade. While a few of these people have had enormous success, others modest, still others will never see their labors of love published. We all know this is a fickle business, wonderful manuscripts are declined by agents and editors everyday. Some go on to make it, most do not. The fact is, you don't have the luxury of time.
I was speaking with a friend recently and she told me of her pressing deadlines imposed by her publishing house. I began hyperventilating on her behalf while she appeared completely serene. She'd worked hard at her craft for years and wasn't about to let time prevent the culmination of her dream from being realized. Therese Fowler understands this. She wrote Souvenir in 7 months, and now it's slated to be Ballantine's lead title for February 2008. Focus, choose, act.
So what will it be? Will you spend today catering to the needs of everyone else around you? Surfing various blogs and online gossip columns, instead of your manuscript? Will you allow the drudgery of work and home, the pressure of debt enslave your precious hours? Or will you decide that today everything else must step aside in favor of your writing. I know what it is to be caught in that fugue, truly I do. But don't allow it to overcome you, to lull you into believing you have time.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007