Thursday, June 07, 2012

Why rush to The End?

We live in a hurry. We live in such a hurry that slow down time is considered a luxury. It's like we have to earn it. After the children are in school, or grown. Once we finish XYZ. Once all our obligations are done.

Periodically I find myself wishing for an environment without television, without computer, with barely a radio. Just nature. Just my own thoughts. Maybe I'm living in the wrong time period, but what happened to savoring each moment - the here and now - without the push and shove to complete way more tasks than we could ever complete?

And we find ourselves writing and reading like that. Yes, this post is for everyone out there - the creators of words and the word gobblers. The givers and the takers. Those who build worlds and those who enjoy the fruits of that labor.

Why rush to THE END?

Writing and reading a book ought to be like life. We should open a page and bask in it. As if it's the only book we'll ever hold. It's how we used to read, back before electronics and make-believe, self-imposed, ridiculously designed goals consumed us.

Rushing to read 50 books in a year. Running to write a book in three months. Fighting to throw up five e-books on Amazon to make bucks. Slow down!

Read so that it sticks with you. Read so that you can recant important, smartly-written lines to your friends.

Write so that each word is gold, earning its place on the page, as if it's the last page you'll ever create.

What we do with ardent, deliberate intent means more, leaving us with a deeper memory of the experience. Let books become a part of our being, not some paper cup we drank out of for a while.

Enjoy slowly. Make it last.


Melissa Amateis said...

Oh, how I love this. I find myself straining under the pressure of society's "now, now, now!" mentality -and unfortunately, too many in the writing community have the same mentality.

A few weeks ago, I was thumbing through my latest Victorian Trading Co. magazine, and as I was looking at the beautiful dresses and all the lovely tea things and pages of garden goodness, I thought, "I wish I could do that for a living" - walk in my garden every day, read a novel slowly, write my novel slowly, take time for tea, take time to visit friends, in short, TAKE TIME. I know God wanted me born in this era, but sometimes I yearn so much for the days of yesteryear that I have just concluded that I am an old soul at heart.

Kathy Kelly said...

I just finished Carl Reiner's MY ANECDOTAL LIFE and found myself weeping at the last page because his family had become mine and his losses my own. His writing unfolds and welcomes you into some wonderfully human experiences. However, giving yourself the time to take that trip means not rushing and reading his humor became a part of the day that I stole just for me. Now I try to remind myself that those stolen moments are crucial to any creative process...time to put the brakes on each day!

Thanks for the reminder!

Lisa Winkler said...

I savor a book until it ends but have grown up enough to abandon a book if I'm not enjoying it. I don't use an e-reader-- I think having one tends to make people read bits and pieces of many books but maybe not finishing any! Nothing like the satisfaction of closing the back cover and knowing you've finished a book!

M. K. Clarke said...

Great post, Hope.

Two movie scenes in Bradbury's FARENHEIT 451 came to mind. One was a boy with his dying grandfather, helping the child memorize the book he'd learned; the second, was that same child later reciting this book. He was outside, telling the book to no one in particular, but to show he'd learned this. And took that time to do so.

My favorite downtime: writing while outdoors, in the sun or by a bonfire (don't you love the smell of hickory smoke in your clothes?), armed with plenty of paper and pens, and write longhand until I couldn't write anymore. You can't force this "the END" thing; that happens as fast as you do. Savor the story inside you and coming out from the pen. When someone reads this, they'll be as much in the moment as you were writing it.

Writing longhand forces your chicken tracks to be legible, too, LOL.

Great post, thank you.

~ Missye

Diva Jefferson said...

I love this post, Hope. Timing is everything in this world. It could make a huge difference in your finished manuscript. Believe it or not, people could tell the difference between something who someone spent a month on or two years on.
I, too, wish I was in a different period of time when the only distractions around are the click of a clock on a mantel and the sounds of nature outside. Wonderful!

-Diva J.

Barbara Techel said...

This has got to be one of my favorite posts, Hope. I feel the same way... no radio, no TV, just nature and my thoughts... no rushing!!
I find it interesting for me right now as I've announced Frankie's retirement, which means no more visits a few times a month, plus no more school visits... and how uncomfortable it made me feel at first. I was so used to going, going, going. I thought, "Gosh, I need to find somewhere else I can volunteer." But then stopped and thought, no, just take the time to be still and listen. ENJOY this new slower phase with Frankie.
We can get caught up in the rush of things so easily- and when not rushed it feels funny. But I find once I start to settle into it, answers come and a wonderful peaceful calm comes over me.