November Editorial: Make It Count
In this month's editorial , PHS Founder and Editor Trish Wylie, talks about the passing of time and how we should do something that counts every day, no matter how small that something may be...
Remember when you were a kid brimming with imagination who couldn't wait to grow up and make all your dreams come true? Remember how slowly time passed as you waited for it to happen and how frustrating it could be? Adults just didn't get it. They didn't know what it was like to be a kid. They could do whatever they wanted, when they wanted. No-one told them what to do!
As an adult, with a busy life, we all know it's not that simple. To me, it often feels like time is passing by more quickly each year. I still have dreams and I'm still chasing them. I have a list of things I want to get done and, for my own sanity, have to treat everything ticked off that list as a step closer to my goal. Then I blink and another day is gone and another week and another month and (almost!) another year and no matter how much I've got done, it doesn't feel like I've achieved much.
When we look at things that way, it can be hard to stay positive. Giving up would be the easier option and much less stressful. But if we took that attitude with everything , would we ever get anything done? I know, I wouldn't.
But let's just stop and think about this for a sec.
What we all have to remember, me included since I've mentioned it before, is that every step forward, no matter how small, still takes us in the right direction. Making the decision not to quit is one step, having a list of things we want to achieve is another and everything we strike off that list should be celebrated. We have to make every day count, even when our to-do list is ignored.
Why celebrate the latter, you ask? Well, let's say you had a tough day with your salaried job or kids or family/friends or your health, but you still found five minutes to think about your latest plot or bookmarked a blog with some great writing tips or downloaded a new novel from an author you love whose story always teaches you something about your own work That means, no matter how tough your day got, you were still gathering information that was relevant to your goal.
We all need to give ourselves some occasional downtime for the sake of our mental health . Being better organized with the humdrum daily tasks we all need to get done can help, too. But like everyone who signs up for Nano, regardless of whether you succeed or fail, every word we put down on the page and everything we do in the real world to free up time so we can focus on adding more words, is something to celebrate. We've held on to our optimism and continued moving forwards, and as I've also mentioned before: Keep putting one foot in front of the other and you will get there.
So, don't think of doing that massive pile of laundry or attentively cleaning every inch of your house or cooking a massive pot of soup that'll feed your family for a several days, as chores. Think of it as getting organized. Don't think of all the time you spend networking with other writers and readers on Social Media or book-marking interesting blogs/articles or reading other people's books or being anal about your website design, as wasted time. So long as you're not spending every single minute of every hour you could be writing on these things, you can think of it as learning everything you can about your craft and the business of writing while building your platform. And don't think of any time you take off to spend with family or friends or binge-watching a favorite show on Netflix as guilty pleasures. Think of them as taking care of yourself and refilling the creative well .
Obviously, the goal for every writer is to write. But regardless of your goal, simply making it through the day can be a tough enough task, which in turn can make your dream seem just as far out of reach as it was yesterday. I'm not handing you a magical miracle cure for that. I wish I could! What I'm saying is, DON'T LET THAT HAPPEN.
Don't overlook the little things you do. But don't let them be meaningless, either . Make it count. Eventually all those little things will add up. And when they do, you could wake up one morning and discover you're a lot closer to your dream than you realized...