There’s a tree in my back yard.
Yes, I know. Riveting, right? Gimme a break. We’re going somewhere here.
See this tree is kinda funky looking. It has a bunch of branches at the bottom but the top is just this barren length of wood with a couple of leaves at the tip. And why does this tree look like this?
Because it’s badly in need of pruning. See there’s only so much sap one tree can produce and all the little branches at the bottom sucked up all the sap that should have gone to the leaves at the top, so eventually the leaves at the top just withered and died.
I was looking at this tree the other day and it occurred to me that my life is a lot the same as that tree. Only instead of sap, I’m running short of time.
I find myself scrambling to fit it all in, and at the end of the day there’s just not enough room for everything I’d like to do. I have to prune some stuff. I have to make sure there’s enough sap left for the important stuff.
Because there some stuff that’s vital, utterly important. These are things that I absolutely refuse to let fall by the wayside. And before you get too far ahead of me, let me stop you and say this: writing is not on that list.
I’m not saying writing isn’t important, but it’s not essential. My family life? Now that’s essential. Keeping a steady job so I don’t starve to death? That’s essential too.
Writing is somewhere in the middle. On most days there’s plenty of fluff I can cut out of other areas of my life to make room for my writing time. But some rare days get filled up with the essential stuff and crowd out the writing to a bare minimum.
And that’s okay.
It doesn’t make you a horrible person or a terrible writer.
So sure, look for those lower branches that need to be cut off. Chances are there are more of them than you think. But don’t let writing leach the sap of time away from the things that are more important.
Never let the good things of life, take away from the best things in life.
This is the only time you get, so do your best to make the most of it. Because it’s running out.