Thursday, September 5, 2013

So Many Stories, So Little Time

The more ideas I have, it seems, the less time I have to write them.

Yes, I have a writing plan, or at least a set of goals, a stack of stories waiting to leap out of my notebook and onto the page. They shift restlessly, wondering when I'm going to set them free. But the world intervenes - more exams to grade, more articles to edit, more presentations to deliver, more projects to apply for. More people wanting a piece of me. My poor stories get short shrift, because I don't write for a living, I do it for the sheer joy of creation and the satisfaction of getting an occasional thrilled email from a reader.

Yesterday night I sat in bed, sketching out the plot of a new novel. My publisher asked me if I could write this, and of course, I didn't say no (although I haven't definitely said yes yet). I'm not good at saying no, which is one reason I'm in this predicament. If someone needs help - if a student needs me to review her work -  if there's a great marketing opportunity - if someone needs a letter of recommendation - if a publisher tells me, "You'd be just the person to write this"... I find it really hard to refuse. And then I curse because I've cut more out of my writing time.

Still, I make slow progress. After making my notes last night, I flipped through my notebook, wandering through the dated pages with different story ideas. I was heartened to see that in fact I've actually written quite a few of them. That gives me confidence that, eventually, I'll get to the rest.

I'm not complaining. I'd rather have too many ideas than too few. And I'm grateful for the time I do have, to devote to this not-so-secret vice of mine.

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