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Monday, March 14, 2016

How Do Writers Navigate The Challenges Of Time?


I used to think the idea of a calendar year was dumb.  Too much repetition.  Why do I need to celebrate the same exact things every year? Why do I need to experience winter again?  Why must I put up with the routinization of life?

But now I realize that with each new day we get a chance for a fresh start and that each calendar year steadies us with a foundation that grounds us.  Whereas I thought it was a chore to be a slave to the holidays and annual rituals that fall our way, I now am more embracing of the things that regulate our lives.

Just because a date repeats itself, doesn’t mean it has to be predictable, but if it is, then it’s because we find comfort in the obligation to ritualize our lives.

Life can sometimes seem chaotic and random – or without rhyme or reason.  The calendar gives us a sense of gravity, a point of reference to remedy our challenged lives. 

I look forward to certain annual rites – New Year’s Eve, July 4, Halloween, Thanksgiving Day, my birthday – as well as when spring comes, usually preceded by baseball’s spring training.  This year, baseball couldn’t come soon enough.  To read about my Mets and I think they’ll get back to the World Series and win it this time – warms my heart and makes me feel like the world’s in balance again.

I guess we can look at time in a number of ways.  We see it in terms of units that can be measured and equivocated.  When we hear amounts of time and put them in context, it means something:

97 days until the official start of summer
7 minutes until our favorite T.V. show comes on.
15 minute until your dinner reservation is honored
2 hours until your plane lands
3 years until a criminal is released from jail
6 months to live after a medical diagnosis of cancer
7 months until the baby arrives.
2 weeks until your test results come back
30 seconds left in the football game

Time repeats itself regularly.  We have 24-hour cycles of life, 52 weeks in a year, and 1,440 minutes in a day.  Time is precious and it’s up to each of us to choose how to use it.  For me, there’s never enough time in the day – or year.  As a writer, time is my biggest challenge.  How do I find time to write, edit, research and re-write?  How do I gain a fresh perspective until some time comes to pass?

We, as humans, can only, spend so much time writing.  And if we spend a lot of time writing, how much can be spent to learn, read, and improve our skills?  How much time can be spent to dream, question, contemplate, and analyze – or to experience life in a way that will better inform our writings?

Writes need to set priorities for how they will spend their time – the quantity and quality of it.  One can be a great writer without spending a lot of time writing.  Time itself is no guarantee of success for writers.  He or she has to be productive.

If one spent 365 hours a year writing, how much additional time would be needed for editing?  How much time was needed to generate the ideas and information expressed in these writings?  How much time is spent on reading and researching?

It would seem that for writers to collectively impact the world, they’d need to collaborate and work together.  For instance, if we got dozens of great writers to come join forces and divide up how they’ll tackle a single topic, we may get an amazing book.  Or, if we get novelists together and have them divide up a variety of important topics and issues that they’ll each tackle – hopefully without repetition – wouldn’t we get some amazing books where each one can give us insights on different slices of life?

Time dictates what writers write-and what readers read.  A huge, world gets shrunk into units of time.  How will you spend this precious commodity?


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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2016

1 comment:

  1. Brian: This is a very interesting topic, Time and how we spend it. Thanks for bringing it to our minds.

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