We’ve all been there. A story is churning inside us. There’s an ember wanting to be fanned into an inferno, but…Junior needs help with his math homework, and an avalanche warning has been issued in the laundry room. And then there’s the ever dreaded question — what’s for dinner?
The ember doesn’t go completely out. If it did, life might be a bit easier. But stories, once conceived, don’t die easily. And thank God they don’t.
Recently, I was having a conversation with someone who said, “I have a novel in my brain. It’s all there, and when I finally have time, I’m going to write it.”
Here’s the deal. We never have time. Never. We can’t save up minutes or days or weeks and put them in a savings account to gather interest. It doesn’t happen. Time is an illusion. It’s a wave crashing on the beach and no matter how much we want to grab it and hold it, we can’t. Even Publisher’s Clearing House can’t give you 5,000 extra minutes a week for the rest of your life.
My twelve year old daughter and I were taking a walk the other night, and she was talking about a story she wants to write. I told her to get busy and write it. She said, “I don’t have time.”
“Make time,” I told her. To which she responded, “Give me the recipe and ingredients and I will.”
If only it was that easy. But time or no time, the fact is that writers must write. They write in a notebook in their car at traffic stops. They write while the chicken is defrosting in the microwave. They write mentally in the shower and when everyone, including the dog, has finally gone to bed, they sit down and get to work.
If you want to wait until you “have time to write”, it will never happen. If there’s an ember burning inside you, a story yearning to be told, tell it.
Next week is Halloween. There’s no better holiday to remind us of our limited time in this world. Time, as they say, waits for no man. And no writer waits for time.