BioBooksAwardsComing NextContactBlogFun StuffHome

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Making Time

Last week I blogged about the piano my parents are donating to charity. One of the things that came up as we discussed it was the fact that no one has played it in a very long time. That immediately (unfortunately) made my mom feel defensive. She would have played it if not for _____. Fill in the blank. She listed a few reasons.

I didn't say anything because there was no point in it, but the truth is that no one ever finds time for anything. Since I sold my first book in 2002, I can't count the number of times someone has said to me that they're going to write a book, too, as soon as they find some time.

At first, I tried to explain to them that they had to take the time, but no one wanted to hear that. All that generated was more excuses. I learned to just nod and say something encouraging.

Let me use myself as an example. I'd love to be able to pick up a sketchpad and a pencil and make beautiful drawings. I'd love to do that, but I don't. Why not? Number one, I'm not willing to block out the hours of time I would need to practice and improve. I want to be as good as an artist who did put in that effort without actually doing that myself. When I do try to draw and end up with a bad to mediocre sketch, I give up and put everything away for months or years.

On the other hand, I did put in my hours and hours of time honing my writing. No matter how bad my early writing was or how discouraged I became, I continued to write. I made the effort, and once I truly committed myself to writing, I didn't just make the time to write, I took the time to write.

I turned down invitations to do things during my writing time. Not only did I make that time sacrosanct, but I looked for ways to add more writing time, like taking a computer to work and writing on my lunch hour.

You make times for the things that are important to you. Writing was (and is) important to me. Drawing obviously isn't. Or the piano. :-)

ETA: My mom surprised me and donated her organ along with the piano to the same charity. I thought for sure that organ was coming to Atlanta. Yea, Mom!