We never have enough time, until we run out of it. I just got off the phone with my wife who informed me that one of our friends had a heart attack last night. Which seems to be a recurring theme with our family, friends, and even myself who just started high blood pressure meds a few weeks ago?
You see most of last year was a bit of a blur for me and my family as I lost both my mother and my father within six months. Both of them were in their mid eighties but not in bad shape really. Until mom was diagnosed with irreversible pulmonary fibrosis and she spent the last few months of her life in Hospice care. My dad was doing fine until he was in a car accident, fractured his hip and never really recovered.
2010 was a rough year. I didn’t write much. I didn’t see the point in it.
Bring on 2011 and we are having a nice visit with my wife’s family while they were on vacation at our house, and her dad ends up in triple bi-pass surgery and looking like he had a slim chance. So here we go again. But he recovered and is doing quite well actually. At last count he had lost over 70 lbs. and is really making a change in his lifestyle.
Why am I telling you all this? Well, Damien (the guy who runs this site) asked me to “think about things newbie writers should know” last week and after my phone call a few moments ago one thing struck me that I know many of us struggle with, and that is time.
We put off sending that manuscript because we think “if I make one more revision it will be perfect”, or we just don’t have the nerve to put our words out there because we are shy or embarrassed. I know from experience that it’s hard to be criticized on our work. But what we don’t realize is that the longer we put it off the less time we have to really enjoy our success in writing.
We all know it can talk a while to break into a career so why do we hinder ourselves in the process by procrastinating. Get your stuff out there for someone to read it! At the very least you will get some feedback that may improve your work or you may meet that contact that gets you your next big break.
Start a blog, start a zine, write letters to the editor, submit to contests, and anthologies. Start a newsletter for your company or club. Write poems and put them on facebook or twitter. Whatever your media chose it and, choose it now. Make a concerted effort to make your work accessible to others. It will be a great feeling to get that first comment on your blog, or that first payment on your first freelance job.
And remember time is short, and you never know when you may write your last words, so make them count because the rest of us can’t wait to read them.