To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan, and not quite enough time. ~~Leonard Bernstein
He preceded the story with a question:
“I have a question,” he said. “But before I ask, let me say there’s always a wise cracker in the crowd who raises his hand.” The audience hummed with laughter. “Okay. Here’s the question. Is there anyone out there who feels he has all the time he needs to write?”
Though I didn’t want to be a wise cracker, I raised my hand. Because I’m one of the fortunate few who, for the last two years, has truly had every bit of time I’ve needed to write. In fact, I probably should have finished several books by now.
So now for the story. Mr. Anderson began to tell us about a friend who became a bestselling author while working full time for Hewlett Packard. He went on to tell us the friend’s wife also worked for HP.
Then, the cliffhanger:
“And then, the most awful thing happened,” he said.
The audience hushed, waiting.
“His wife got a big promotion,” he continued. “And she came home one day and said, ‘Honey, now that I make more money, I think I can support us both. Why don’t you quit your job so you can write full time?'”
Why was that the “most awful thing?” Because this friend never finished another book. Instead, he took up painting, bonsai tree trimming, etc., etc. With so much time on his hands, he found too many things to distract him from his writing.
That’s what’s happened to me. My first thought is to say I’m burned out on writing. But that’s not exactly true. I still love to write. What I’m burned out on is trying to make a living from my writing.
Social media and marketing. Those two things on their own have distracted me from my writing, not to mention painting, bonsai tree trimming, etc.
Too much time. Too many distractions.
So, for the first time in twelve years, I’m going back to an 8:00-5:00 job with a regular paycheck. Sure I’m a little nervous about this very major change in my life:
- A loss of so much free time
- Not being able to watch Tommy during the week
- Putting off the dream of generating enough income through writing or painting to support myself. (Note, I say “putting off,” not forgetting.)
But I’m looking forward to a lot, too:
- A regular paycheck
- A sense of accomplishment
- Making new friends
- Better familiarizing myself with Dallas
Maybe my writing will be significantly impacted, maybe not. But I have always worked better with too little time, as opposed to too much time. So who knows?
Perhaps my story will have a different twist to the one Mr. Anderson told, and I’ll go back to work full time and come away with a bestseller.