"If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn't brood. I'd type a little faster." ~Isaac Asimov
When I was a teenager one of my obsessions was getting my fiction written because who knew how much time I would have to write it? Somehow that energy was lost, or at least diverted, as I did things like go to college and get a job. Since then I've been dragging partially written manuscripts behind me like Marley with his chains.
Now don't worry, I haven't received some dire news of impending disaster. But it has occurred to me that simple math indicates I'm much closer to my eventual demise than when I was thirteen (and furiously scribbling to complete that Dune rip-off I was so attached to at the time). That NOW might be a good time to reinvigorate the panic that fueled me in those years.
But how do you rediscover a sense of urgency?
It is certainly a bit disconcerting that time flies by now. Earlier today my sister and I commiserated that three years used to take forever (1987 to 1990) and now it feels like yesterday (2007 to 2010). But that truth (or perception) doesn't make me panic so much as sink into a sense of ennui, which certainly doesn't help with a burning need to complete stories.
Don't get me wrong, I still know how to panic but it's mostly confined to things like due dates at work and that turns out to be counter-productive to caring about things like writing. It leads to settling deep into the couch and watching hours of television.
But even though I've not been as productive (to this point) as Asimov, my reaction to thinking there would be a limit on my time to write would be the same. It would strip away all the other b.s. and focus me on the flame that burns within. The need to create, to express, to communicate, to influence through the power of words.
So yes, it's definitely time to tend the fire and type a little faster. How about you?
This was a "Find a Quote About Writing that Inspires You" exercise. While I chose the topic of a sense of urgency to write (and a beloved sci-fi author), Jen "The Amazing" Stayrook chose characters to write for her post Why "Real" Characters Matter More Than Anything Else in Writing. Go check it out.