Remember when you were 20 and life stretched ahead of you like a highway on the prairies? Remember how many projects you believed you’d get done every single day? If you wanted to do something but it was impossible at the time, it’s wasn’t a big deal because you knew you’d get to it sooner than later? Remember those days? Remember the energy of boundless youth?
Life Moves Ever Forward
But I’m no longer 20. And I have a massive problem in that I have so many more things I want to do in my 60’s than I ever had in my 20’s. The older I get, the more projects I want to do. With a deadline closer now than when I was 20, I have far more ideas I want to explore, many more creative things I want to experience than I ever did when I was 20.
The Tech Wars Are Over
I’ve written about this before but this past week was another one of “those” weeks in my writer’s life.
After ten long months, I declared the tech wars under control and won. The adventure of moving my gardening websites from an advertising-based revenue model to a user-membership payment model was technically finished as two rather large sites were merged into one. I’ve written about moving sites to tech-supported platforms so this shouldn’t be a surprise.
Enter The Problem
I woke up Monday morning, took the time to hand-grind and press some good coffee (it’s the old girding your loins for battle thinking) that would sustain me for a few hours.
To face a blank sheet of paper where I listed the projects I wanted to do. Three pages later…
I realized I needed another four lifetimes to get it all done. So either somebody has to fix the aging issue really quickly or I have to prune the list. I start pruning.
As a note, I wrote about a similar subject a few years back when I was looking at taking more time off.
The Big Three Emerge
I’m a writer. Let’s face it, that’s what I love to do. This adventure left me with a) garden writing – the bread and butter of my working life b) non-fiction writing of other subjects such as publishing and c) fiction.
Being somewhat of an Type-A overachiever, I decided to do all three and set up a time management system to do exactly that. And I did. Produced more words last week than I had in 10 months. My keyboard could have melted under the pressure I was hammering away at it so much.
I drove myself nuts. I’d just get into the rhythm of writing and my time management software would end it. After the break, I’d switch genres, adjust mental gears and keyboard my way forward. And the software would end it again.
It was as frustrating as all get-out.
If Not Now? When?
Something had to give because there’s no way I want to write on that kind of schedule. When I get working, my head rolls along quite nicely but switching gears like that, on an automatic schedule, just doesn’t work for me in the long run.
One of the three main writing areas had to go. I’ve written more notes this week than I have in years. Examined the three genres from a variety of perspectives and tried to sort out what I really wanted to do deep inside my creative self. Garden writing was staying – I enjoy this and it’s my established bread and butter. That left two – fiction or non.
And the old line bubbled up, “If not now, when?”
Stephen Pressfield’s book “War of Art” (Amazon link) got reread.
And The Winner Is?
I am writing fiction again and put the non-fiction on the back burner to get to it (maybe) someday. Who knows? A writer should never say “never”.
Because the bottom line really is, “If not now? When?”