I only have one question for the universe: where has the time gone?
I woke up this morning and realized that this time next week, it will be December already. I feel like November just started, like I haven’t already spent 24 wonderful days with my novel. In my mind, it’s still one week earlier. There’s still time. I don’t have to start thinking about final exams or which presents I’m going to buy for my loved ones for Christmas. There’s no snow, just words. So many words.
But that’s the problem, I think. All these words. They are beautiful and they carry me to a place I don’t mind spending a few hours in, and they allow me to feel things I don’t get to feel very often these days. I’m in that horrible place in life where all my friends have moved away and I can’t find a decent job and it’s really quite miserable, I’m just being honest.
I don’t mind laughing at a character’s joke or even crying a little when one of them is sad. On the outside it might seem a little strange, but if you’re a writer you understand the connection an author has with his or her story and its characters. There are so many reasons to write, but often the best one is that you find yourself in a place where no one is judging you, you are in control (mostly) and you know, somehow, there will always be some sort of solution to the plot’s biggest problem.
Yet when we spend all that time in this far-off world we have created, we lose something important: time of our own. Even if I spend only two hours per day completely lost in my story, it’s two hours I sometimes really need to be doing something else.
And I don’t just work on my book, either. I write daily posts for you (love you!) and articles for other places and Tumblr rants and homework assignments and some days it’s just too much.
But someone somewhere keeps telling me hard work pays off so I’m trying to work hard even when it doesn’t feel like it matters. And some days that means I wake up and I write and I work and all of a sudden it’s dark and I’m tired and I wish time would stop moving so fast.
I look back at where I was six months ago and, while so much in my life has changed, so much still hasn’t. I don’t even know what happened to summer, or fall for that matter. I keep writing because that’s what I [at least feel like or hope] I’m good at and that’s what gets me through those days I really, really wish things had turned out better, different, etc.
The only thing I don’t like about writing is how, even though I might be able to spend hours in a different time and place, when I come back to the present, time hasn’t stopped anywhere else. Some days I wish, the moment I sat down to write something, all of time would just freeze.
Maybe it’s different for those who are lucky or talented enough to write for a living. Maybe when you actually get paid to write, the way time passes isn’t the same as it is for someone like me. Maybe the problem isn’t that time keeps disappearing, but that the time I spend writing yields happiness and worth for my readers (the only thing I want, because I care about you) but not always the same joy and satisfaction for myself.
Don’t get me wrong, I love to write and I hope that every day I get a little better at it. But there’s only so much time, and to feel as though it’s slipping away from me so quickly, that’s my biggest fear of all.
Image courtesy of Leticia Chamorro.
Meg is the managing editor at College Lifestyles magazine, a guest contributor with Lifehack and a guest blogger for Food & Nutrition Magazine. She is a seven-time NaNoWriMo winner and has also written for Teen Ink and USA TODAY College. Follow Meg on Twitter.