Your time is precious; my time is precious, so it would seem to follow our time shouldn’t be wasted. But the thing is, I have been doing that, losing sight of what to write and post here. The endless book reviews are nice, but their quality has gone down as I force myself to write them from books I have nothing to say about. I drown the blog, my time, and your time with half-assed reviews when I could offer something with an opinion less often, so that is what I will do. I will review those books which I have opened my eyes and challenged me. A review that isn’t only empty clatter. As a reader and writer, I’m after substance. I’m not saying that this is some noble path, that reading for recreation is substandard. No, I don’t believe that either. Reading is amazing. But I want to say something when I write, and that is sometimes impossible. So from now on, I will write a review once a month (except I will continue writing a review after every single Discworld book I finish until I’m done. Currently reading Making Money.) Do my top three books a month. And keep writing my short stories as those challenge me.
This decision is because I believe committing time to something you want to achieve, something you believe in, something which makes you a better person or better at something you love is a better use of time. For me, that is writing my books. Trying to do too much has made my energy levels go down, and my writing has suffered. Life is all about choices we make. And I have been making poor ones by trying to be perfect at everything and failing even in that. So this is me putting my ducks in order and getting back to the goal. Letting go doing the reviews isn’t easy because I have learned so much even from those books, which doesn’t seem to say anything. Every book is precious with a lot to offer, and reviewing them has made me a better writer and reader. But sometimes change and prioritizing your time is necessary. I have found out this the hard way, ending up not enjoying and lacking energy to do anything.
Another thing I have found with my time usage is the constrains being social takes on me (Instagram, Twitter, Goodreads, Reddit, and even my blog, critique group, and other social networks, +IRL.) I want to be an active part of both the reading and writing community. I want to give back and do my part to have these fantastic books being written and read. Still, my introverted nature, social anxiety, and perfectionism make every word I say or write cause all my senses to go overload. I pick apart even the most straightforward sentence and become this stress ball. That is the truth about why I struggle to connect with others. Sometimes I fantasize about the need for being social would blow over. (Introverts to take over the system.) But I don’t want that either. When I connect with someone who I know to care as much as I do about the world or to be as curious as I am about everything, I get elated. That is the best feeling in the world, to find other fellow creatures trapped here on this rock, who seem to get our existence is bizarre and shouldn’t be taken too seriously, yet, not too light as to abuse others for the sake of their amusement. So bear with me while I try to get this twisted mind to catch up with my wants and wishes. I might seem distant and cold, but that is just the shell I have created around me because my heart breaks easily when facing injustice and the hurt people go through, my mind/senses get overstimulated, and I freeze. Also, I’m not sure how one should do this. Being active and social has never come naturally for me.
So why I wrote this? Both inform the changes happening this day onward and remind myself and you how you spend your time matters. We don’t need to be fully optimized. But structuring your time according to your goals, desires, and wants is a better way to find contentment and success. I have prioritized my other duties over my writing, trying to be amazing at rock climbing (failing there), etc. That stops now. Trying to be good at everything and not being good at anything is moronic. Also, trying to do what others want me to do and be what they want me to be is a waste of human life. I want to write stories with impact, and that is where I want to become better and that is where I should concentrate my time and efforts to. Other hobbies and seeing friends keep me sane and helping others is something I should incorporate into my life. We are not alone here. But trying to do all at the same time will only run me down. I have already seen the impact it has on my mood and my relationship with my husband. I don’t want such a life. So quality over quantity. And trying to critting enjoy the things I do. We are involuntarily here, but that doesn’t mean we have to suffer or follow some arbitrary rules. The times we are living have shown how precious our time is and to waste it is a shame.
I’m not saying we shouldn’t fill our obligations. We have duties to others and when we care about other people’s well-being our own happiness increases, so there is that. (Let’s not get into the debate about is there such a thing as altruistic behavior.) But too often we too easily do what others want from us, pursue values society has given to us, families obligate us to do, and so on. I for one don’t want to be on my deathbed and regret all the things I didn’t pursue. And yes, we can criticize the current “find your passion and pursue it” nonsense, and I agree partly because it gives false expectations combined with outside metrics of happiness and success. We all cannot be world-class rock stars, lawyers, stockbrokers, and writers. But that doesn’t mean you should forgo your dreams and stop defining your own success. Part of being happy with your life is having engaging pursuits, whatever they are (art, sports, crafts, nature, healing… I would add making money, but usually pursuing money doesn’t make us happy, especially if it is done for reasons coming outside to be something.) Writing keeps me grounded, fills me with purpose, and gives me goggles through which to look at the world and my fellow human beings. It is a way to say something and hopefully someone will hear me and stop to consider if my words have merit or not. And this is what I have been neglecting? Funny old world. Sometimes you need a reality check, and the last month has been mine. It came with dents on my shiny self-image and I direly needed one, even how painful it was. Anyway, the point being: I stop wasting your time and mine. See you later and have a great day, plus thank you for reading my ramble ❤
© K.A. Ashcomb