Random Rants, Random Writing Rants

We all have the same amount of time, just different priorities

a stack of library books
I have a lot more time for reading since graduation and go to the library at least once a week now.

One of my students started out this semester complaining about how much work she has to do in my class. I cannot even tell you how many times she said, “I don’t have time for this” on the first day of class. She was oblivious to her classmates glaring at her as if they wanted to ask if she truly believes she is the only person who has a life outside of school.

As the semester progresses, this same student keeps asking me if she really has to do all of the practice lessons or if she can only turn in the graded assessments and skip everything else. I am honestly sick to death of hearing it.

This week, I finally told her, “Look. It’s your choice. You do what you have to do. If you fail your assessments because you chose not to complete the practice lessons, then you will have to suffer the consequences.”

“I don’t have time for this.”

I hear that excuse a lot, both in the education world and in the writing world.

“I don’t have time to go back to school.”

“I don’t have time to do all of this homework.”

How often do you say, “I don’t have time to exercise?”

Or, how about this one: “I don’t have time to write one million crappy words before I can finally write something worth publishing.”

Look. We all have the same amount of time allotted to us in a given day, week, or year. Yes, some people get to live longer. Sometimes, the ones who choose to take the time to exercise regularly get to live longer. Except those who are hit by busses while out for a jog. (But I digress)

The bottom line is, we have time for what we decide we have time for. We set our own priorities. Yes, my kids take a lot of my time. But guess what. I chose to have children. If you have children, then so did you. Maybe you didn’t exactly plan to have them when you did, but who does? When you choose to have sex, you risk having children. That’s how sex works. It may not always be optimal, but if we all waited for the “right time” to have kids, the human race would have died out a long time ago. Once again, I digress.

If you do not have time to do the things that are most important to you, then I suggest you cut out the things that are not important. We all waste time on things that mean little to us. Do you play Candy Crush Saga? Touché.

butterfly quilt block
I also have time for crafting now too. I recently started cross-stitching these butterfly quilt blocks.

I am a single mother, raising two kids 100% on my own. My kids’ father is no longer in the picture and has not paid child support in over a year. My family lives hundreds of miles away, so it’s not like I can even drop the kids off with Grandma when I need a break.

Last semester, I raised those two kids 100% on my own while teaching seven (SEVEN!!) college courses and writing a 90-page thesis. Yet somehow, I still found time to waste raising virtual crops on Farmville 2. (Don’t judge!)

My point is, I determine what my priorities are, and then I make time for them. I decide what is important to me and cut everything else out. Guess what, I accomplish a LOT. So when a student complains to me that she doesn’t have time to do all of her homework for my class, what I hear is, “College is not a priority for me.” When I hear writer friends say, “I don’t have time to write this book,” or “I don’t have time to revise this piece of garbage before I rush to self-publish it,” what I really hear is, “I am not serious about being a writer. It’s just a hobby for me.”

If college is not a top priority for you, fine. That is your prerogative. Far be it from me to tell you where your priorities should lie. However, do not complain to me that you don’t have time to do what is expected of you. Just do what you can and accept the consequences when you do not meet the standards. That, my dear, is how life works.

If writing is only a hobby for you, that is okay too. Not everyone is cut out to write full-time. But don’t complain to me when your self-published first draft gets torn up by reviewers on GoodReads. If you truly want to be a writer, you will find the time to make it happen. Either way, don’t waste time complaining about how little time you have. Because no one has time for that.

What can you cut out of your life to make time for what is truly important to you? Please share in the comments below.

~Amanda L. Webster

On an unrelated note, a friend of mine has committed himself to 25 hours of gaming to raise money to help Childrens Miracle Network Hospitals and Johns Hopkins Children’s Center. Please click here to sponsor him and his team via extra-life.org. Thanks!

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14 thoughts on “We all have the same amount of time, just different priorities”

  1. Well said. I know I’m guilty of complaining about time a lot and then I’ll spend an hour on Facebook or searching for reviews of my book (or checking my non-moving sales report). I think it’s amazing how much you do: you are an inspiration!

      1. That bar moves too, I think, from publish, to sell something, to selling a certain amount, to a certain sales rank…. I’m running a free promotion today and getting very few downloads – I can’t even GIVE my book away! Lol

  2. Interesting that you posted this today. I just read another blogger as “What have you had to sacrifice in order to write?” Writers can isolate themselves, missing the big picture, and doing all their thinking alone. I think sacrificing too much, in order to write, has its problems too. Many people want to write full-time. But without the kids and the PTA meeting, and the classes, and the dry cleaning, what would you write about. Writing not only requires a life pondered, it also requires a life lived.

    1. I definitely agree that you must still live your life. Balance is the key, I think. I just believe that most people have these little time wasters in their life (mine used to be Farmville, but I’ve managed to swear off that!) that add little or no value to their life but suck up huge wads of time that could be spent elsewhere.

  3. Not sure why this was posted on one of my posts but if it was meant as a jab at me, I do not appreciate that. I did not at all complain about anything in my blog. I was just making clear that I was “prioritizing” college and other responsibilities over my blog. I don’t see anything wrong with that. As far as dedicating time to writing, believe me I will be doing plenty of writing for all my classes. I don’t think I have anything to worry about there.

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