I was chatting with a fellow author, by email. It turned out that we had both been prompted to get on with writing – now! We had both had a brush with death that was too close for comfort. That sounds enormously dramatic. Believe me – it is! I have no desire to repeat the experience, that’s for sure. But it got me wondering about how many other authors had suffered similar experiences. It would make an interesting study.
We’re all guilty of putting things off until some later time, which often doesn’t materialise. That’s especially true with ‘hobbies’. All too often, it’s our creative impulses that are pushed aside, either by genuinely important things, like raising a family, or just plain lethargy. We’ve all seen the joke: “National Apathy Day – Cancelled due to lack of interest”. I’m afraid that writing, like so many creative hobbies, is burdened by apathy and an unwillingness to challenge a seemingly insurmountable weariness, brought on by work, family, travel and all the other tedious, everyday ‘realities’. Those same things which inspire non-writers to view us rather jealously as being non-workers lounging about, drinking vast quantities of alcohol and generally not having a care in the world. They’re wrong to see us like that, of course, but then we don’t exactly give our creativity its fair due, either.
I have said previously that I’ve always felt driven to write. You’d think, then, that I spent every available second doing just that. In fact, I just shoved it aside as much as possible. It just didn’t seem to be a worthwhile use of what ‘leisure time’ I had. That was particularly true when family issues were put against it. If I’m absolutely honest, though, there were plenty of hours when I could have been writing. Those times spent watching television or just doing nothing were a complete waste. Oh, I had moments, when the writing bug struck hard enough to make me actually follow through with it, but they were very rare.
Today, I’m more afraid of not having enough time to write all that I’d like to. I fear that dark figure who walked far too close beside me for a while. The thought of dying without ever really trying is far more chilling than I would have thought possible. I now feel compelled to write at two levels. First, there is that old bug that’s nagged at me for decades. Second, there’s a sense of living on borrowed time. In case you’re wondering, I’m not at all religious. I’m afraid I don’t feel as though I was given a kick by God. I can’t provide a story to inspire at that level. Honestly, if that was God, then it’s one really nasty way to make a person do something!
I appeal to you! Don’t put things off. Not anything! Life is just too unpredictable.