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Friday, May 13, 2011

No Time Like The Present

A friend of mine recently lost his father—a sad, sad thing to hear about. I don’t consider myself particularly elderly, but when your friends start losing parents, reality sets in and you begin to look at priorities.

Deaths of friends and family members always leave me empty for a period, and make me wonder how well I’m spending my time here—unguaranteed time.

Motherhood and family are the priorities that come to mind for me right now, and this sort of news makes me want to spend as much time as I can with my loved ones. I already spend too much time on the computer writing and blogging. I only have so many open slots, so I often spend “me time” writing and revising and plotting when my little one goes to bed. This could be quality time with my husband, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel selfish and guilty about it every now and then.

After all, dreams are dreams and, as such, come secondary to “real life” by necessity.

But then again, if I’m not putting any effort into my own dreams, then what example am I setting for my children, and for my husband for that matter?

He plays golf a lot, and that’s time he could be spending with me…but I don’t begrudge him that because it brings him joy. And I love that he has something that makes him feel good. His smiles upon returning home after a round of 18 become my smiles, his relaxation becomes my relaxation.

I know that I am loved too, and that writing brings me joy. So if I’m going to spend time doing it (at the expense of family time), I’m going to honor those that care about me by giving it everything I’ve got.

By pursuing your writing dreams with vigor and persistence, you ARE doing something for your loved ones.

Plus, how long can you afford to put things off because they live in your dream drawer? You never know how long you’ve got.

“No time like the present” is equally relevant when working on laundry or working on those writing goals you keep setting aside for next week, next month, or next year. “No time like the present” means sending a card to a friend or sending a query letter to an agent.

My point, fellow bloggers, is to not be afraid. Hit that send button on your query letter, write that next book, tell your loved ones how loved they are, and go for the 6-scoop-eat-it-all-and-win-a-t-shirt-and-your-picture-on-the-wall Challenge at your local ice cream shop this summer :)



  1. This is a great reminder, Jess. There are so many things that we could fill our days with. We have to make sure that the things we choose are the most meaningful. For me, if I didn't take time to write, I wouldn't be happy and you know that old saying. If mom isn't happy, nobody is happy.

  2. This was amazing. I actually pushed myself last night to send two more queries. During this process you find that you're a little lost and not sure where to go (at least I do) but I'm so glad I have friends around who can help me through the tought spots!

    Let's hope from some agenthood soon!!

  3. Great post, 'unguaranteed time' is a good way of looking at life.

  4. Wow. I loved this post. And this especially "To pursue your writing dreams IS doing something for your loved ones." It's something I wrestle with frequently. The guilt of being so wrapped up in this. But I also know something big was missing before I did it.

  5. Well said, Jess, and some very sound advice.

  6. Great advice! Even if we can't do it all, we don't have to give up those dreams.

  7. This is so awesome and inspiring. Thanks Jess. This is just what I needed. Sometimes I wonder if spending all this time writing is worth it. Yes, I love it, but like you pointed out...I could be spending more time with my kids and hubby. But let's face it. If I didn't get my writing time, which equals relaxing time, I might actually be more uptight. It's a good thing. I love writing and you're right. We all need to live. Thanks for sharing.

  8. A wonderful, inspiring post, Jess! It was my own father's death that really woke me up and reminded me that life is short, and it was time to follow my writing dreams.

  9. What a fantastic post. What a fantastic kick in the pants!

  10. "Unguaranteed time" -- I really like that and that giving time to what we love is a good example to the younger set. Great post for making us think.

  11. Hi Jess,

    Thanks for the bril comment! I'm glad you liked the Q&A so much! ( :
    Have you read 13 reasons why?
    Thank you for popping over to read it!

  12. "You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough" Mae West :) Writing is especially something worth doing, because, after all, it can live on after we do.

  13. Beautiful post. Thanks for the reminder about unguaranteed time.

  14. I think you make an excellent point. The best way to honor those you love, whether they are still around or not, is by living up to your own full potential. Both my parents have passed away already, and I'm only 34, but I know that they'd be proud of who I am and what I'm doing.

    My kids may not like the time it takes now, when they're young, but they will appreciate it later.

  15. hi miss jess! i like this post lots. for sure no matter how old you are you cant know if youre gonna be her tomorrow so you gotta balance out all the stuff you wanna do and do all the loving you can and never be afraid.
    ...hugs from lenny

  16. Such wonderful, wonderful sentiment here. I often have moments when I just sit back and think too much time is passing me by and I should have accomplished more in life by now. But, that's not really the point.

    I forget sometimes that I just need to enjoy life on occasion, and live it the best way I can. And we really do need to pursue our dreams with everything we've got!

    Deb Dixon at the Pike's Peak conference said something that really resonated for me - that applies to life and dreams and everything else, I think - "You have to be present to win." :)

    Thanks, Jess!! Best wishes to us all in our happy pursuits!!!

  17. Beautiful post, Jess. My father died in March. I managed to get there in time to be with him when he passed, though I doubt he knew I was there. But as I told my brother, that's okay. We knew we were there.

    And I agree about pursuing your dream. There's a balance we must find, but we need to be sure we're filling our own vessels, so to speak. We won't have anything to share with our loved ones unless we take some time out for ourselved. I waited for 30 years to begin. I'm stressing to my writerly children not to waste their talents.

  18. That was excellent, Jess! Sometimes I feel guilty, too, and wonder where my time is best spent. It can be tricky to balance everything. Great words of wisdom.

  19. This hit home. No guilt. Thank you.