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Text of the podcast: Time
Where do you find the time to…?
This morning I listened to NPR radio and heard a story about how Americans do not have time any longer to eat cereal. It takes a whole 4 minutes to pour out a bowl with milk and consume it. And I think that may include the clean up afterwards. Don’t quote me.
You can hear this story for yourself here:
HYPERLINK “http://www.npr.org/2014/08/26/343352110/cereal-consumption-hurt-by-grab-and-go-foods” http://www.npr.org/2014/08/26/343352110/cereal-consumption-hurt-by-grab-and-go-foods
This particular trend of saying “I don’t have time to… fill in the blank”- is nothing new. More and more people are saying they have less time. When some writer friends and I set up a booth at a local festival. We called out to the people walking by our booth and asked them if they were a reader and what did they like to read. We were told by A LOT of them that they didn’t have time to read. And I mean a lot like over half.
Okay, I can see skipping the morning newspaper, I mean, do those even exist anymore? But a book for entertainment? You don’t have time? Not even for a page a day, which takes like two minutes (which is less time than that bowl of cereal)– That’s scary. I mean even I took a vacation this year and read a book. I read on the toilet (oops, did I just admit to that?)- I read in the car, and I read at work. Yes, I do. I read a lot. And I will bet those people do too. They don’t see it as reading. They see it as consuming. Maybe we should have asked how often they consume a book, and that would include audio books that way.
You are reading this right now (unless you are listening to the podcast) and so you DO read. And you do consume media. Everyone does.
So it is no wonder that potential clients and writers of all stages ask where a producing writer finds time to write. It’s a fair question. And to that I will say, we all find time to do the things we want to do. I mean, ask yourself, what do I spend my time doing? Isn’t the answer something you enjoy? Something you love? Well there ya go. Reading has to be something we love, something we want to do. And when we WANT to spend time with the things we love, we do it – we make time to do it no matter what.
So those of you who are saying you do not have time to write (yes, this is me too!) rethink that. Writing for a writer is their job. We are writer-workers. Our computer is at our work desk. Our WIP is our job software. We must access it every day and do some work or we will never get paid.
But I’m not published, you say. So? Writing is like working on commission. If you do not turn out the product, you will NEVER get paid. And by paid, I don’t always mean money. There are other dividends that you will reap when you get those words out. Something called peace of mind, something called pride, something called accomplishment comes to mind. When you write stories or poems or anything of substance it defines you because so much of you is in it. Maybe that is where the saying “the devil is in the details” came from? I don’t know but that’s how it works.
Does this admonishment to write sound stern? Well, maybe it is. I am being stern with myself too, if you must know, because I have not been doing my job either. I keep saying, oh, I will do more tomorrow to make up for today, but the truth is, tomorrow hasn’t been any better. Writing is hard work. It is far easier to read a book than write one and even easier still is sitting before the television with your remote in hand watching written work move about on a screen. (Game of Thrones awaits me in its pretty red envelope)
So let’s make a pact, you and I. Let’s agree to start this week to show up for our jobs and do the work. Let’s get paid, friends. Writing is a very lucrative endeavor. Monetary-wise and otherwise. It will enrich our lives.
And about that time thing and the cereal eaters? Do they really think it’s quicker to go through the drive through at McDonalds? How many minutes does that take anyway.
And so it goes…