Humanity are an affectionate lot. Really. No doubt, we love imperfectly, but there is no question that we love quite a lot. We love our parents, our kids, our other halves, our cousins and countrymen. We love the smell of rain and the taste of foreign cuisine. We love the homely, the exotic, and that subtle and perfect mixture of both. Stories, landscapes, music, words, and small furry animals with deceptively sharp claws. We love like crazy.
But we are imperfect creatures, marred from almost the beginning. Warped as we are, we can no longer love as we should. There are a dozen ways this is true, but to a guy like me, one stands tall in the lineup. As Alabama points out, modern man is in a hurry to get things done, and we rush and rush until life’s no fun. In the fast pace of a society with rapid transportation and instant communication, we are slaves to the clock. All that bustling means we do less of what we love and more of what we think is expected. And after that, we spend time vegging to make up for the rapid pace of a packed day.
This hits me particularly hard, because where others might see calendars and schedules, I see a big ball of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey stuff. For example, I went to college with an absolute passion for reading and writing and all things high fantasy. Yeah, I was that nerd. But with college came class, and homework, and a job (when I could get it). In the cracks I tried to cram a new circle of friends and a freshly forged social life. By the end of sophomore year, I could not read for a solid hour without setting the book down half a dozen times. At the beginning of junior year, I couldn’t tell you the names of half those books I used to love. I spent no time on what I loved, and soon I had lost the ability to.
This is doubly true of my writing. I used to write in a dozen different styles in imitation of as many genres. I had scribbled out scraps of high fantasy, scholarly essays, dark fantasy, political commentary, “scholarly” treatises, science fiction, a smattering of history and chronicle, snooty poetry, armchair theology, and singsong lyrics. After two years of no good reading and only hasty writing, I descended into drivel. The only topic I had any strength on was what had occupied my mind continuously: home.
By now it should be obvious that a great deal of what I put on this blog is just working out whatever I’m dealing with at the moment, so it should come as no surprise that I could go on in detail with more examples from my own life. I’ll spare you. I’m sure you can sympathize, and with a little reflection you can probably come up with far more painful examples. The fact is, if you love something, you have to devote time to it, or you will lose it.
This means, especially if you are like me and have zero time management skills, you can’t put off whatever it is you hold to be important. There will always be something else to do. If there is a time vacuum in your life, it will be filled. You have to fight for what you love, cramming it into spare moments and carving out blocks of your day. You do not have time for what you love, you make time for what you love. And it is that effort that shows you love it, and that allows you to love it better.
That said, I am going to end this post and finish up chapter one, draft two of my novel. Go and do likewise, with whatever you love.