“Time is not measured by the passing of years, but by what one does, what one feels, and what one achieves.”
The ironic thing about vacations? Somehow everything seems even more hectic and busy when you get home. I’ve been playing catch-up this week, and although that’s led to some crazily early mornings and long days, I’ve been enjoying every minute. I’m back to working on both writing projects simultaneously, which took a few days to feel like the norm again after focusing solely on my current book while I was at the shore. I’m thinking that it might be a good idea to work out some type of schedule where I can still write both, but also concentrate on each one exclusively for extended periods of time. The problem with that, though, is that I’m still SO. RIDICULOUSLY. EXICITED. about the manuscript I’m working on that the idea of setting it aside for anything longer than a day just doesn’t work for me. I’m simply too eager to keep writing it, to keep letting the characters take me on a journey along with them.
I found that with With a Little Bit of Luck, too. No matter how many potential ideas I had in mind, some would invariably end up twisting, bending, and being molded into different shapes as I worked. Sometimes characters really do have minds of their own. I started off with a more detailed and thorough outline this time, but even so, Sofie and the cast of supporting characters really do just insist on doing things their own way quite frequently. And yes, I am well aware of how ridiculous that probably sounds, but it’s something I’ve learned through writing. Sometimes you just have to let the characters lead and follow them down whatever paths they blaze.
Speaking of paths, something that happened while I was on vacation really got me thinking. I had a chance to visit with Christina, one of my friends from college. She was actually my first friend at Arcadia, and I shall forever remain grateful that she saved me from the monstrosity of a bug that landed on my shoulder just before our very first Intro to Communications class during our freshman year (seriously!). We haven’t seen each other since our graduation five years ago (forget about time flying, it seriously just speeds by), and it was absolutely wonderful to catch up. You know how with some people, you can just pick up where you left off, as though no time has passed at all? That was definitely the case. Getting to have dinner and chat with her and her husband was a surprise bonus to the trip, one I thoroughly loved. Somewhere in our conversation, we touched on our fellow classmates and what everyone’s doing now. It was interesting to compare the “thens” with the “nows.” Some people have careers in the field they were pursuing in college, others have changed course and gone in a different direction. Some are happy, some long for something more. It makes you stop and think – how much can things change in five years? It’s really an unbelievable amount sometimes.
For me, I’ve gone from being focused solely on journalism to wanting nothing more than a career as a published author. Am I still passionate about journalism? Yes, but not in the way that I’m passionate about creative writing. There’s a freedom and joy there that I couldn’t have possibly understood until I experienced it. Where will I be in another five years, when our tenth reunion rolls around? It’s impossible to predict the future, but I surely know what I hope and pray it will hold. I know with certainty what road I want to continue walking down. Yes, there will be twists and turns along the way, but the path is clear. And above all? It’s a journey I’m so excited to keep taking.
What about you? What were you doing five years ago? Where do you think you’ll be five years from now? Are you following the roadmap you planned for yourself, or have you veered off in an entirely (or somewhat) different direction?