Writers: Time To Stop Talking About Your Lack Of Time And Just Do The Goddamn Time Already
Ha ha ha, fuckers!
Finally found something I can kick your ass about. (Er, “about which I can kick your ass.”)
Oh. Oh! You didn’t think I’d figure this one out, did you? Silly humans. I can smell your excuses plain as day. It’s like a hamster died up in these walls — I can suss out the decrepit stink.
Let’s try these pantaloons on for size, see if they don’t fit real nice.
“I’ve got to feed the children, I’ve got to breed the goats, I’ve got to wash the blood out of the carpet, I’ve got to inject a fat syringe of ‘Mexican Dragon’ heroin into my nipples, I’ve got to misspell Tea Party signs, I’ve got to shut down our power grid with the help of a handful of Chinese hackers, I’ve got to learn to please my man, I’ve got to eat, I’ve got to sleep, I’ve got to write this really long sentence — oh noes, I just don’t have the time!”
Ah! Ah-hah. Think I wouldn’t catch that one, didn’t you? You thought you’d dazzle me with sympathy?
You almost had me, Internets. Almost had me.
Scientific fact: the day has 23 hours.
The day has 24 hours.
My day has 24 hours.
Your day has 24 hours.
That hobo over there? Got 24 hours in his day. That housewife? Bingo, 24 hours. That parapsychologist? The landscaper? The lawyer? Ding, ding, ding, all possess the same 24 hours in their day. That unicorn? Well. Okay, the unicorn has 25 hours in his day, but he only got that by going down to BJ-town on Chronos, God Of Time, and you’re not jolly well a unicorn, are you? (Don’t get near the unicorn, by the way. He’s skittish. He doesn’t like parapsychologists.)
So, if everybody has 24 hours in their day, how is that some people “have” the time, and someone don’t “have” the time when it comes to something like, say, writing?
It’s donkey poo, that phrase. “I don’t have the time.” Nah. What you mean is, “I have chosen to allocate my time in a way that does not accommodate this other stuff.”
Which is fair. I’m not knocking your choices. Some of those choices are barely choices at all. Children do need to be fed, after all. Nipples do sometimes need a tasty injection of exotic heroin products.
Thing is, the “time” factor is another one of those areas where writers get to think they’re special. We all do it. We all like to feel precious in our burdens. But, unless your burden is something like, “I’m Jack Bauer and I have to use every ounce of my alloted 24 hours to torture potential terrorists,” then I call shenanigans. (And yes, on FOX, they measure hours in “ounces” and not minutes and seconds. Silly Fox!)
Yes. You have shit going on. So what? Everybody has shit going on. It’s this funny little thing called “life.” If you’re going to sit around on your hands and wait for life to magically grant you a 25th hour, or for it to suddenly stop picking on you with all the cruel things of which life is capable, hey, enjoy the magical dream. Life is a real dickbag. It’s a bully. Life will keep at you. It’s like a foul clot of frenzying piranha. Always nibbling. Churning the waters, making it hard to see. That’s the way it goes. You’ll never find a “free moment” — at least, not until you’re 80 and bound to a wheelchair and a too-full colostomy bag (don’t you hate it when the medical tubing gets caught under the wheel of your wheelchair and suddenly you can’t fill the bag anymore and the tube starts to bloat like a hot dog in the microwave, filled as it is with your mighty waste, and it swells and swells until — well, splurch?).
Listen. Sometimes, life really does take over. Much as I knock it, unique problems do persist.
But here’s the deal.
If you can’t carve off a slice now — 15 minutes here, an hour there — then you best think about giving up this whole “writing” gig, at least if you seek to do it semi-professionally. If you can’t find even a little bit of time, then you’re one of those people who talks about writing all the time instead of one of the people who actually writes all the time. (And those people who only talk about writing? Those faux-authors? Did you know that professional writers all get together once a year just to make fun of those people? We do. It’s a convention. The location changes every year. Always remote. Mountains. Desert. Orbital station. We have a list — like some kind of evil federation of Santas — and we just go through the list, one by one, mocking the posers. Or poseurs, if you prefer the pretension. We throw darts. We drink. We mock. We engage in bloodsport and to-the-death games of Scrabble. Good times.)
Do you read? Watch TV? Movies? Play games? Post on blogs? Tweet? Play sports? Eat lunch? Eat dinner? Masturbate wantonly? All leisure activities. If you can’t slice off five minutes from a handful of these to devote to writing, well, what the hell? You think this shit’s going to write itself? Like maybe you’re going to wake up and find that miracle fairies have penned your latest manuscript, leaving its warm pages under your pillow come morning?
I know, it sucks. But it goes back to the notion that “writing is work.”
You have the same time as everybody else. You have burdens, but so do a lot of people. Many professional writers have burdens, and they manage. If you can’t manage, then you’ll drown as others swim above you. I’m not saying life doesn’t throw at you unique and damning challenges. It does. And sometimes, you do need to take a break from the pen-to-paper gig to manage problems — but you let that get away from you, and next thing you know it’s five years later, and what happened? Nothing, that’s what. You’re five years closer to death and no more words closer to a completed manuscript.
We all have 24 hours in the day. We all have 24 slices in the cake.
It’s all about how we choose to cut the cake, people.
You want to be a writer? Then cut yourself a slice.
Find an hour in your day.
Make words happen. Take back time. Like Marty McFly or some shit. Yeah.