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Saturday, April 21, 2012

What do you do when you know you're running out of time?

I just downloaded to my Kindle free of charge 30 or 40 of the classics that I've never read, or would like to read again. Yet, I know there's probably no way I'll ever read all those books. Oh, I could if I put my mind to it. But blending reading the classics with reading contemporary books, blogging, writing my own books...well, it just isn't going to happen. I'm 65 years old and who knows how much more time I have left. I'm in excellent health, really, for my age. I can see myself living another 30 or so years. That's a lot of time. But it's nothing like having 60 or 70 years ahead of you, as I once did. You just cannot make up for lost time; at least, I can't, not with all I have and want to do.

Fortunately, I have a lot of work to finish that's in various stages of completion. But I also have the nagging desire to write new books. I do have a few stories floating around in my head. How to get it done? What am I to do?

I have a three year-old-grandson I'm raising. He can't be left unattended. Even when he's older and, until he's an adult, he can't be left unattended for very long. You can never stop being vigilant in caring for your children. That comes before everything else. So I have to squeeze in all this other stuff around caring for my grandson. It's hard to do. But I must do it. Somehow I must find a way.

Which brings me to thinking about those of you in high school, or even college. You have a lot of time left, but you really don't. The necessities of living will rob you of much of your time. It's a rare person who can attain their dreams at a young age. That's especially hard for writers. (I've discussed this in other posts.) So, what are you to do? Most of us live our lives without much planning or looking ahead. We tend to live for the moment. Carpe diem. And there's nothing wrong with that. Unless you can somehow find the financial means to write fulltime for a few years until you can become financially self-sufficent writing (and that's hard to do), you'll have to squeeze your reading and writing in around your living for the day. In other words, part of your living for the day must incorporate reading and writing. If you don't, it'll all evaporate over time. It's a tough challenge. Only a few can succeed at it. Part of carpe diem is "do it now."

But, I also believe that do it now (writing) can wait until your formal education is completed. If you want to experiment with writing while in high school or college, that's fine. Experiment. But put your education first. Finish that part of your life first.

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