“The worst of it is the certainty that I will die, not someday or sometime in the future, but today. This is the day of my death.”
Reckoning – Andrea Stephenson
When I was young, I had time to write, time to draw, time to create. The hours passed slowly, bending to fit the things I wanted to do. There was no urgency or purpose – no deadlines, no pursuit of success. Creativity was a pastime, not a goal.
Now, time is precious and passes quickly. There is less of it in my day, my week, my year. Now, uninterrupted time makes me procrastinate. There are so many things I could do with a day that I often fritter it away, undecided.
We all know that our time is limited, but it’s a concept that is difficult to grasp until it runs out. I recently realised that the years I have left may now be fewer than those I’ve already lived. I’m often surprised that ‘twenty years ago’ doesn’t refer to the seventies, but to the nineties. People I think of as contemporaries are actually a couple of decades younger than I am. We try to control time with bucket lists and life plans. But time is nobody’s servant. It follows its own sweet path and we can stumble off it without warning.
Sometimes, I worry that there won’t be enough time to fulfil the creative dreams I have for myself. And yet, time isn’t always a barrier to success. You can write a story in a day, a novel in a month and publish a piece of writing in seconds. Creativity isn’t dependent on youth. The passing of time only enhances the depth and breadth of creative work and writing is not a profession you have to retire from.
And ultimately, how much time is enough? If you knew exactly when you would die, would this make a difference to the way you lived your life? That was the question I asked myself when I wrote my short story Reckoning. You can find out what conclusion I came to because it’s just been published in the latest issue of Popshot, a literary magazine distributed to 18 countries. I’m thrilled that my story was chosen for the ‘time’ issue and has its own dedicated illustration. You can buy the magazine by clicking on the cover above.