Free to Write, or Not to Write

“To write or not to write?” may be the question, but don’t take too long to decide. Hamlet is not a good role model for time management, prioritizing, or consistently acting upon priorities.

Opportunity costs are the sacrifices we make when we choose one option over another. They are inevitable and legion, as we cannot do all things all the time. The question is: Which opportunities, every day, every hour, should we sacrifice for the sake of our cherished dreams, our consciously established goals, our deepest commitments?

Selecting essentially what to kill is as inherent in the equation as deciding what to feed. By free will, we are natural murderers and nurturers of our time. And, as the cross-genre prog rock band Rush says in their song, “Freewill,” “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.”

The May 9, 2015, post at Live to Write, Write to Live addressed making time to write, with emphasis on conscious intention. This part really spoke to me, as I have long found time management rather challenging:

“The next time you’re tempted to say ‘yes’ to someone else’s request or make a personal choice that will infringe on your writing time, picture your writing as a small, helpless creature being led to the sacrificial altar. Look at the poor creature’s big, frightened eyes. Know that you are the one who is going to have to do the deed. How are you feeling about your choice now?”

Read the entire post here.

LiveNowDoNow_post-itViewing each choice of activity as somehow a matter of life and death gives greater weight of conscience to moments that otherwise too easily lose significance in our illusion of being blessed with an endless supply of them. True, at times, we beat ourselves up too much over things we do or fail to do, but that self-flagellation, too, is a choice, and another time waster.

Now is the time to invest in what’s important, and now, and now. . . .

Whether it’s a blog post or a novel, a poem or a dissertation, an essay or a screenplay, a journal entry or a comedy routine, a recipe or a short story, a textbook or a love note–make the time to write, and make it again, and again. Do you still feel you need a specific opportunity to motivate you?

As in April, Camp NaNoWriMo starts up again today for the month, but you could also devote August or any other month to a specific project. You could make every month Writing Month. Officially name your own project, purpose, or writing “event.”

Most important: Focus regularly on the incremental steps. Focus and re-focus. Return without guilt when you get off track, but return. Intentionally raise your awareness of the daily and hourly commitments it takes, and commit. Put one foot in front of the other, and keep moving forward to make habits from your goals. How we spend each moment adds up to how we spend our lives.

Write or don’t write. Read or don’t read. Sketch, paint, sculpt, craft, scrapbook, sing, dance, act, play, design, create–or not.

Choose, and carpe punctum.

2 thoughts on “Free to Write, or Not to Write

  1. Morning, Carrie.
    Thank you for this – and not just for quoting me, but for writing your own way through the quandary and then publishing at just the moment when I need to read it. 😉 Sometimes (most of the time), I think I write what I write more because I’m talking to myself than trying to influence anyone else’s thinking or actions. My post on making time to write fell very much into that category of self-talk, and your post today was a perfectly timed reminder to make smart choices with the long-term view in mind.

    Have a lovely day. Happy writing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jamie,
      I’m so glad I could be of service, reciprocating yours. Yes, I, too, am mostly talking to myself with these imperatives. It can be just as challenging to make the most of large gifts of time as it is to squeeze things in between the lighted cracks, sometimes harder, I’ve found. And yet, I don’t feel I have too much time on my hands. I’m gradually learning what self-discipline looks like for me in my current circumstances. We all have to make our own way. Thanks to you as well; it’s good to know we’re not just talking to ourselves after all. Keep it up!

      Liked by 1 person

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