When I was a little girl, maybe around 2nd grade, I went through a phase where I couldn't fall asleep at night because I would just lay in bed and worry. I would worry about my parents, about my pets, about school, about just anything that had to do with the future and my minimal control over it. One night I remember sobbing to my sweet patient mom, after wandering downstairs in tears for the thousandth time, Mom, why does time go by so slowly?
Ha. I think my mom did actually choke back a laugh when she said, Don't worry, when you get older, time will go faster than you want it to. And I think about that conversation every time I find myself sweating over the passage of time.
I suppose I should mention that I survived SCBWI LA last weekend! It was awesome, and exhausting. I met the coolest people and had such a good time being in an environment where it just felt natural to talk about imaginary characters and world building and shiny ideas. I don't have a picture of myself en pajama for the 40 Winks Gala (does anyone? anyone?), but had some ridiculous fun. The keynote speakers were fabulous, some of them (I'm looking at you, Libba Bray and Jon Sciescka) made me laugh until I cried. And Gary Paulsen, my goodness--I don't know how many of us had ever heard of him beforehand, but we all left with our jaws dragging on the ground. That someone like that even exists!
The standout for me out of all the workshops was Laurie Halse Anderson's talk, The Nuts and Bolts of Crafting a Creative Life. I don't know how to explain it, but when she spoke to that small room, it didn't feel like a lecture, it felt like advice from a colleague and close friend. What she said wasn't revolutionary--nobody has enough time. That's nothing new. But her words hit home: We all waste time on things that don't matter. She advised us to write a list of the 5 things that matter most, and the 5 things we spend the most time on, and see if they line up. If not, make it so.
And stop farting around on that undeserving time vampire called The Internet.