"Why Do You Write Like You're Running Out of Time?"

Friday, March 18, 2016

I recently listened to the entire Hamilton Musical on Youtube, and aside from being a thoroughly enjoyable musical (warning: profanities) it reminded me of a topic I've been meaning to write on for a very long time.


via tumblr
That's the difference between the successful and the unsuccessful. I think of this a lot, because there seems to be a consensus among our generation that time is no longer an issue; after all "you have your whole life before you" and "why rush?". This goes for a lot of things, from getting in a relationship with someone, to working hard. But there are a couple of things that we forget upon falling into this way of thinking, and today I want to debunk them, and tell you why I think everyone should be writing like she's running out of time.

Hard workers are called that not because they're actually working spectacularly hard, in fact, but that everyone else isn't. A moderate amount of work in an age of laziness looks fantastically productive, but in comparison with other ages, the amount we write - the amount that I write - looks very little indeed. When we are so accustomed to doing so little, it's easy to see someone wasting less time and think they're just working unnecessarily hard. Which brings me to my next point:

The main reason people of past generations worked so much harder than we do was mainly due to their limited life expectancy. If you didn't think you'd live past 30 years of age, wouldn't you be working a lot harder too?

But though none of us generally think we'll die before at least the age of 50, none of us are promised that amount of time either. We don't even truly know if we have tomorrow, so why do we waste so much time today? We are only promised now, so why aren't we using it?

I'm good at procrastinating - really good at procrastinating - but recently I've been feeling especially aware of the short length and transiency of life here on earth, and more than ever, I don't want to waste a minute. If my life is taken away tomorrow, I want to go with the peace that I did everything I could today. I want to know that even if my books aren't finished, I wrote what I could with the time I had, and that those unfinished manuscripts would be at least more than they were yesterday. I don't want to waste a second. 

If I throw away my shot, is this how you remember me? Maybe this is my legacy! What is a legacy? It’s planting seeds in a garden you never get to see...

We cannot count on tomorrow; "all we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us." 


  1. Golly Pete. You really stirred me. Great job! And thanks :)

  2. Hmmm. I've been feeling the exact same way lately, and not just with writing. I've taken Ephesians 5:15-16 as my motto: "See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil." That verse struck me when I was reading recently, because I know that I have a big problem with time management. I feel like I need more careful with the way I spend my time and more intentional about productivity. Easier said than done, but I'm trying. :)

    1. "For us, there is only the trying - the rest is not our business." (T.S. Eliot)

  3. Thank you for this post. I love your way with words. You are so right. I've recently been finding myself holding debates in my head. "Do I want to watch Sherlock or do I want to write?" "Do I want to spend time on pinterest or practice guitar?" I've been trying to prioritize better now.

  4. *flails because Hamilton*

    I've been thinking about this a lot, too! I don't use my time as wisely as I'd like to, or on the right things, and that's something I'd like to change.


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