Time is of the essence …

A phrase in a contract that means that performance by one party at or within the period specified in the contract is necessary to enable that party to require performance by the other party.

In the most extreme definition of this common phrase it means… if you say you are going to do something at a certain time … it had better be done … or else.

How does that relate to the other areas of our life as we meander from day to month to year making promises we never keep?

By the time I’m thirty …

How many different promises do we look back on later when we have waaaay too many things to look back on?  Did you think you would become a millionnaire by the age of thirty … forty?

Have you promised a loved-one to provide something for them … like a ’til death do us part kind of something?

Writers make declarations to themselves that if kept to the letter of the law would have many of us on the docket for failure to comply, inability to perform, making fraudulent statements or breach of promise.

I’ll get an agent and my first book published by the end of the year. Oh, really? Which year would that be my fine writerly friend? It must be obvious that in terms of this type of guarantee, writers had best stay clear of blanket promises.

On the other hand … it says little about our character if we say instead … “someday I’ll be a published writer … I’ll be famous … get a two or three book deal with a movie tie-in and become the next, greatest, richest …

“Someday” reminds me of Scarlet O’Hara … she’ll worry or cry or take care of business … tomorrow. Poor Scarlet. In the end Rhett Butler walked out the door with that famous grin and delivered one of the best exit scenes in movie history …

Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.”

Remaining true to ourselves and our vision of who we believe we are has nothing to do with either time of the essence, or someday.

It has to do with getting up every morning and making a commitment to work, learn, read, research, and work some more.

What about you?

Do you make promises you can’t keep or fritter away your time in fantasy instead of hard work?

fOIS In The City

(1) Pitter Patter   (2) Day Dreams (3) Gone With the Wind
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12 Comments

Filed under Random Thoughts

12 responses to “Time is of the essence …

  1. What a great reminder of how important it is to set goals and keep moving forward.

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  2. christicorbett

    This is a fantastic post for writers and I second Keli’s comment!

    Christi Corbett
    http://christicorbett.wordpress.com

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  3. Monica

    Funny how we wouldn’t think of breaking a promise to someone else, but break promises to ourselves all the time!

    Do you think your hiatus will help your writing? I think taking a real break from something can be just the ticket sometimes.

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    • I don’t know if the hiatus will help. It’s the first time I tried doing something like this and it made me as nervous as a wet kitten.

      First time in four years I picked my head up to take a look around, breathe and say … fine … today I’ll read and then crochet and then …

      Now I’m going back to my work and I’m happy 🙂

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  4. well,
    on the other hand i make sure to break away enough to read good posts and keep perspective on my life and my writing life. keep up the good work
    douglas esper

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  5. Here here! That’s really what it’s all about. Commitment.

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  6. Hi there! When I first started (about 4 years ago) I definitely had the “I’ll have a published book by _____” mentality. Now that I’ve had the chance to “know” published authors through Twitter, etc, I know how much more common it is to get close and not make it and then get close and not make it again. It’s sometimes the third, fourth, fifth, etc, try before you get an agent or a deal. I’m thinking ten years or more at least–but truly I have no time limit anymore.

    Great post!

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    • Nina … your determination combined with your obvious talent will garner you a novel as insightful as your other stories. And there can’t be a time limit on that … thanks so much for visiting 🙂

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