Thursday, February 9, 2012

Carpe diem

E Shakespear posted about seizing the day: "I need to look at my time and choose the best uses for it. I've been afraid to throw myself completely into this role. ... It's been easier to hide in a limbo world where I tell myself that I'm working on the book. ... I'm still working on it and it's a safe place to be. But I'm also not finishing the book and learning how to make it better. Years have gone by and I'm still just working on it."

And I flashed instantly to a pair of posts over on Wastepaper Prose (here and here) where S.F. Robertson asked several authors what they would change about their writing journey, if they could. The most common answer? I wish I had started earlier. Over and over, these writers said they wished they had let go of the fear, or made more time, or given themselves permission, sooner than they did.

Now, it's possible that we just don't start things until we're ready. Maybe it takes time for us to be ready. But there's an old song that has a line about how sometimes we live in chains without realizing that we already hold the key (Eagles, "Already Gone"). Sometimes we find ourselves waiting for permission when we don't need permission.

Life passes more quickly than we expect. And it seems to accelerate as we get older. So if there's something we've always wanted to do, it's okay to stop waiting and start doing ... now.

6 comments:

  1. Amen to that, Jenn. Now that I'm about to do the revisions to my work, I'm worried that I might find myself just working and working on it because it's actually safer than setting it free and being told it's not good. (Ooops, that was a little too revealing.)

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    1. I think that's a common fear. But to borrow a cliche, nothing ventured, nothing gained! Good luck. :-)

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  2. Five years ago the idea of being a writer moved from my subconscious to conscious mind. I don't know why it stayed buried for so long, but the same day the message arrived, I started writing, never questioning whether I should or shouldn't.

    Over the years I've pondered the beauty of how those subconscious thoughts emerged. And yes, they came right when I was ready.

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  3. I just read a post about waiting and planning and how that is a good thing when things can go very wrong without the proper preparation. So there's got to be this good balance between not rushing in too quickly, but making a decision to go forward with something. Sometimes I wonder if this is one of the most important thing we learn about ourselves - where that balance is for us.

    I do know that I'm very happy I have started things when I have and made things go forward. I have been scared every step of the way, and for good reason, but I don't regret it at all. I feel like I took the proper time to plan and then went forward. I relied on gut feelings...not sure if that's totally logical. :)

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    1. Yes, there's no need to rush before we're ready. :-)

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