Thursday, January 13, 2011
A Few Thoughts About Time
We just painted our living room. To make the job go faster, we moved all the furniture into another room. This meant I had to remove the books from the shelves to lighten the load – not a job I looked forward to. It turned out to be an unexpected pleasure though. I came across books that, while I hadn’t forgotten them, I hadn’t thought about them in a long time. Some were old favorites that I couldn’t resist dipping into. I won’t go on about this since, if you’re reading this blog, you’re probably a book lover and already know exactly how that went (and have a pretty fair idea of how much time it took).
More to the point are the books that prompted no memory at all. These are the books that I’m ashamed to admit I’ve had for years and still haven’t read. One of them is Time Management for the Creative Person by Lee Silber. That’s definitely a book I should read, so I put it aside with a promise to myself that I would … you know what’s coming … read it when I can find time.
Find time. What a silly concept – as if time is something you’ll find – like dust bunnies under the bed – or, in this case, behind the bookcase. Browsing through the pages of that particular volume, I came across this statement:
“Some people accomplish nothing, then stop to rest.”
And a little further along:
“One trivial task usually leads to another.”
And here’s one every mother will identify with:
“You get caught up in somebody’s else’s schedule.”
Mr. Silber obviously understands the problem. Does he have an answer to it? I don’t know. I’ll let you know when/if I find time to read the whole book. Needless to say, it took me much too long to get that bookcase emptied – and it wasn’t because there was insufficient time.
It’s not hard to translate this to my writing life. If I would just use each minute of each day wisely, there would be time enough to turn every idea that pops into my head into a very lengthy book. I have to wonder though, if I had no idle time, when these ideas would pop. Most of my ideas appear when I'm in the middle of something else. Then I have to find time to write them. So it's really a matter of finding an appropriate balance. And that’s something all of us have to do for ourselves. So maybe I don’t need to read the whole book after all – at least not all at once. I’ll let the bits I’ve read germinate and come back for more when I need them or when I find the time.
Oh, in case you’re wondering why I bought this book – I didn’t. It was given to me by writer friend when she cleaned out her bookshelves. I’ll have to ask her if she read it.