“I don’t have time” is a lie.

Whenever I think about revising my book, I fall immediately into that beautifully sacred “if only” lament. Invariably, it’s directed at time: if only I had more of it. But this “I don’t have time” orientation is my pathetic attempt at self-absolution, forgiving myself in advance for having not done more with the ample time I have. Sure, I’m busy with various responsibilities, but there is little precluding me from revision (or any creative endeavor that I supposedly crave) except my own disinclination to pursue it. Saying “I don’t have time” is my excuse, my escape from freedom and responsibility. It’s forgoing existential opportunity in favor of fatalistic surrender; the former requires faithful commitment, the latter demands nothing.

So why do I keep choosing nothing? Why such absurd entitlement? Am I expecting time, or some other external thing/concept beyond my control, to magically appear and re-write my book for me? As if surrendering to ineffable cosmic forces (which I’m implicitly positing are out there and interested in not only humanity but me specifically) somehow softens them and brings them to my side?

The truth is, I do have time. So what am I doing with it?

1 Comment

  1. dasfuller

    This is *the* number one complaint I hear in my writing classes. And you’re right: it’s bullshit.


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