Time Is The Enemy…..Or Is It?

One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.

-Jack Kerouac

Oh look, a meme that encompasses everything I feel about writing and what time of day to do so.

I read a wonderful post on Reddit the other day. The post creator wanted to go back to school to earn his degree, but was not keen on the idea that he would be 40 by the time he finished. Another Redditor put it simply: “You’re still gonna be 40”.

I’m the type of guy who hates hates HATES waiting for something to come in the mail. And yet, when it inevitably does, the duration I’ve waited never really seemed all that excessive to me. I eagerly await the next entry in the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare series this year, but when I stop and think about how much has changed since the last one released in 2011, it doesn’t feel all that long ago.

This isn’t a blog about reminiscing about the past and how it relates to the future, no I’m pretty sure I know how it relates. Rather, I’ve been contemplating as to whether or not my writing is as time-sensitive as I originally believed it to be. Sure, we write primarily what we know and I’ve certainly know a lot more now than I might have when I originally conceived the idea back in 2011, but the important thing to me is whether or not the story is meant to release when it’s finished, or is that just the procrastination talking?

If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.

-Stephen King

Oh, Stephen. I want to agree with you wholeheartedly on this, but when I think of your $400 million net worth and copious time spent migrating between your three houses, I suddenly feel less inclined to do so.

Okay, my petty jealousy aside, I do believe part of my issue with my writing being as trickled down as it has is partially due to my disinterest in reading anything meaningful lately. Part of that is intentional; the last thing I hope to do is end up with a novel that reads a little too much like the last one I read. But at the same time, there’s also that sense of building experiences, developing vocabulary and writing prose that just doesn’t suddenly come out of the blue.

But the references that come from them (Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy) are eternal to time.

I’m always the first person to say “It’s a marathon, not a sprint” when it comes to lengthy things, but I can’t help but feel that the inverse could apply to my writing, even though it is probably one of the biggest time-consuming things around. I’ve scrapped many passages that I felt either didn’t flow right or weren’t what I felt was needed at the time, and despite that being part of the writing process, I get just a tad bit jealous when writers younger than me put out anything sooner, and to great acclaim. The acclaim part isn’t because I necessarily fear negative reception (there’s bound to be some for any work regardless of the scale), but rather if the amount of time I put into something is truly my best work, and if the time spent reflects that.

There’s a long-standing rumor that Lawrence of Arabia had burned the first manuscript of Seven Pillars of Wisdom instead of lost it, solely because he was finding it unsatisfactory, and decided to rewrite it. And I figure that if someone with significantly less writing efficiency could find the courage to start over again and rewrite solely from memory, I can appreciate the fact that I had a little more patience with writing my own work. I guess it’s just a little shocking to see the end finally in sight, my big project finally coming to light.

Also, nothing of what I said applies to George R.R. Martin. That man has been enjoying the fruits of his labors for nearly a decade now.

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