No time to read this post? Listen instead:
Now is having a moment. Here’s why.
Eckhart Tolle may have first enlightened the world with The Power Of Now in 1997 (when now was then) but there’s a reason the book continues to be a best-seller today – now, even – and social media feeds are littered with nowist platitudes. Now is constant and reliable, non-judgemental and present. It never leaves us, it’s always just, well…there, like a…thing (you can see why I’m a writer). When you think about it, we owe now a little respect, don’t we? But instead, most of us would rather dwell on the past, or worry, panic about, get excited about or wish for the future. A lot of human time is spent (wasted?) regretting what we didn’t do and plotting what we should.
I’m not suggesting now is always a pleasant place to be. I am suggesting, however, that it’s all we ever have and, as individuals, how we choose to spend now can have an impact, positive or otherwise, on subsequent nows.
As now IS all we have (and it really is, we have no choice, I’ve checked) let’s use it. Here’s how:
1. Decide what you want to do/achieve. For the purposes of this blog, and because I’m a writer, I’m going to use writing as an example. You might want to be a singer, a dancer or a plumber. All excellent choices. In which case, the same principles apply but adapt the tips accordingly. So let’s say you want to write. You’ve ALWAYS wanted to write but never got round to it. Whatever it is – a book, a story, an article, a blog, poetry – stop reading (at the end of this point) and spend a moment, a bit of now, thinking about what it is…ok, GO.
2. Pick up a pen and grab some paper OR Sit in front of your computer, open a blank document.
Frustrating, isn’t it. But it’s the only way.
You, of course, are free to choose not to do this. If that’s the case, here’s what will happen:
A. You will still be in the ‘wanting to’ phase, which, in my experience is a pretty unsatisfying place to be. Your experience may not be this, in which case, phew.
B. As we all know, now immediately becomes then. Then, as we know, is in the past. Not doing something now puts us at the mercy of the past, leaving us vulnerable to dwelling on it (see above), to potential dissatisfaction, regret and, at worst, self-loathing.
C. Every measure of time we don’t take advantage of now edges us further into the future, leaving more of the life we have lived behind while reducing the amount of life we have left to live ahead. Sorry, I don’t mean for that to sound pessimistic, I’m actually a very positive person, but you know what I’m saying, don’t you… Delaying now until later also brings us back to A. and B. and the cycle begins again.
The great news is that there is no shortage of now (um, except there is ultimately…but let’s not get into that, this piece is meant to inspire and MOTIVATE!). So perhaps a better way to put it is that, for the most part, health permitting, now is in relatively plentiful (but not unlimited) supply.
Now is your friend. Use it. Make the most of it. Don’t waste it.
Let me know how you get on in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you.
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4 thoughts on “Why Now Is The Time To Write…and what will happen if you don’t”
I kind of see where you’re coming from in this post and I really respect your opinion. I just wanted to mention a few things.
Firstly, I know that the title of this post is meant to be motivating, but to me it speaks to me on a personal level and makes me feel very anxious and afraid. I love writing and I don’t want anything bad to happen to me if I choose not to write for some reason. So your post title scared me and actually made me want to write even less!
Often, I don’t like writing until I have inspiration, because writing for me is meant to be a pleasurable activity, not a chore. When I am forced to write and I don’t want to, I don’t enjoy it, I start associating those feelings of anguish with writing and I actively avoid the activity. So that process actually works against me.
Finally, I suffer from anxiety which means that ‘now’ is a constant source of pain. It is inescapable, because everything is now. It is superceded only by the fact that ‘then’, as you mentioned, is worse, because I cannot ever reclaim that time back. If I think about this concept for too long I end up curling into a ball, crying and never leaving my room. I have actually done this, that’s not an over-dramatisation. So I do not like to think about it all too much. I just like to write as and when I please, so that I don’t feel under pressure from myself or anyone else. Pressure is my main trigger. I guess I’m a bit like an oyster, or a hedgehog, in that respect.
Anyway I just wanted to point out something that at least one of your readers struggles with when reading this post.
Thanks for reading.
Thanks Camilla. I appreciate these sentiments and can see your point. However, my view is that now doesn’t necessarily require panic or urgency. It can be embraced, mindfully and slowly. Like I say, now is always there, it’s all we have, so own it, breathe it in, and make friends with it (if that doesn’t sound too hippy-dippy). Meditation and yoga is all about now, living in the moment, not dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. I guess I’m saying as now is all we have, consider the option of doing what you want to do now, rather than putting it off, which can lead to frustration and regret. Also, remember, now is whenever we choose, really 😉 PLUS – creative license and that, don’t be put off by the attention-grabbing headline, it’s nothing more than that in a world so crowded with information. In other words, imagine tongue ever so slightly in cheek 🙂 xxx
This is brilliant Ann and so true. Thank you!
You’re welcome Jayne! Thanks for reading x