I've come to a startling realization, one that may surprise many of you: I can't do everything. I've accepted that, within school and other activities, I can't be perfect. As a total Type-A, I've grown used to juggling school, and sports, and writing, along with food, reading and sleep, and making it seem almost flawless.
This isn't so much an apology as an explanation. Right now, I only have myself to answer to; there aren't any editors or agents making sure I get the next part of my novel done, the next section of my memoir mapped out. Until now, this has worked well. I would just sit down at my clunky computer and write, or edit, and then it would be done.
After all, I've always had very high expectations to myself; if I tell myself I'm going to do something, I'm going to do it to the best of my ability. I'm normally very determined, passionate, and reliable. Lately, there hasn't been time.
Until this year, I didn't really realize what the words "college-preparatory" and "honors" actually meant. It's not that I've lost my passion; writing, and seeing as a writer, is so often on my mind. When I get home at seven at night, after playing tennis for two hours and being in school for seven hours, I still have a full load of homework to do. At this stage of my life, choosing writing over sleep isn't feasible right now. The other duties in my life don't just stop because I want to write for a little longer. I wish I had the luxury to write whenever I pleased, but I don't. At least I know what a full-time job and writing on the side is like.
Additionally, I have no idea what I'm doing. This is the first novel-draft that I've actually had the heart to edit, and the first memoir I've written. Although there are resources, both of these steps definitely aren't a one-size-fits-all. There aren't many memoir resources online, and editing is quite peculiar. I'm so glad I'm doing this, and it's harder than I thought.
I've been doing the best that I can, and it still isn't good enough. No matter how many times I switch my time-zone so it looks like I have an hour or two to write (tempting, I know), there are still only 24 hours in a day. (Yes, I am in honors math. Can't you tell?) I'm trying to avoid burnout, because that wouldn't be good for anything, or anyone, in my life. Sometimes, writing has to be on the back-burner.
Right now, I can't devote much time to writing. I've been taking an unintentional break, and just trying to see the world for whatever it is. I've never been one of those madly-holed-up-in-room writer types; I've been writing for almost two years, and it's always been something I've done late at night, once the day was done, typing out my thoughts and then sleeping. I don't continually isolate myself to write; I've always loved being busy in real life and then stepping back to write, to gain a further understanding of myself and the people around me.
As I've been delving into my memories, I've tried to take breaks and really get into the moment. Last night, on a walk I took, I made sure I noticed the glow of the lampposts on the streets, the jingle of my dog's leash, the pebbled texture of iron-wrought gates (yep, I touch other people's fences. Who doesn't?). I also found out that evergreens are really awful at high-fives. Who knew?
In all seriousness, in the past few weeks, I've realized that there isn't time for everything. More importantly, though, I don't always need to be writing or editing something to be in a writer's state of mind. I get so focused on achieving my goals that sometimes I don't realize that realistically, it doesn't always happen, at least not with the time constraints I give myself. I've got time, just not now. For now, this is the best I can do. (In the meantime, don't expect any quality writing or planning from me. And just so you know, I shirked finishing a history assignment early to write this. Case in point.)