RicoChey posed a couple of thought-provoking questions yesterday, with regard to short fiction and novel writing: Does the time it takes to create something speak directly to its worth? How would you describe the correlation between time spent and value presented?
These questions of value could, of course, be applied to all the other tasks we take on that inevitably impact our writing choices (and writing time), couldn’t they? In fact, these questions of value are present every day of our lives, in every aspect of our lives — we make decisions by reflex regarding our time and the value of every thing we accomplish.
If you really think about it, nothing is more valuable than time. The moments, the hours we spend day-to-day accumulate. Numbers line up, whether we want them to or not, and tally themselves into representations of how we spend our lives.
This past three day weekend, I spent upwards of twelve hours watching Orange is the New Black. About the same amount of time was spent on housework and cooking/serving meals. At least six hours was spent on errands/shopping/bill paying; another six hours on preparing for MIL to return home from post-surgical rehab. I spent two-three hours reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s The Signature of All Things; the same was spent on internet reading; spent three or four hours walking the pup, and about the same on personal grooming. Forty-nine hours, approximately, out of seventy-two hours of my life passed with both physical and mental activity … and I have very little to show for it.
I created meals that were enjoyed and a clean house that is already messy again; I made use of the library, and numerous consumer goods and luxuries that perhaps increased the quality of life for both myself and family members. I enjoyed fiction created by others, and the good company of a cute pup and distracted family members. And I didn’t write a word.
Admittedly, I could have cut the Netflix vigil in half and spent six hours writing. But I didn’t. I feel a twinge of shame, yes.
As a writer, as an adult citizen among the masses, does my weekend past hold any value at all? Sitting here thinking about it in these terms right this minute … I have to say, not much.
What does your past weekend add up to? What do you not want to waste your time on next weekend?
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January is going to be exciting! #gowrite