Monday, April 30, 2012

Hey, Writers! Let's Live For Today!

 Let's start with this:

Now, this song is awesome for a few reasons. One is because the guitarist for the Grass Roots was Creed Bratton. You know, the most amazing character on The Office now that Michael is gone.
Creed Bratton
But it's also an awesome song because of the message. Oh sure, at first glance, it's a hippie anthem and a teenaged fantasy. Live for today! Live for today! And all the older folks and businessmen say, "Cut your hair, get a job, live for tomorrow!"

But there's a lot of truth to this song's message. When I was younger, I was always told that I needed to see the big picture, start making plans, start setting life goals. I was told to make a One Year Plan, a Five Year Plan, and a Ten Year Plan. And, most frighteningly, I was always asked by adults, "What do you want to be remembered for? What will be your legacy?"

Maybe that's because I was raised in an Evangelical youth group, I don't know. What I do know, though, is that I quickly lost the ability to enjoy Today. I began to always look to the future, look to what's next. The scary part was, at some point the farther down the road you look, the only thing you can see is death.

As writers, we're always looking at the next big thing. I've got to get this book written so I can query agents. I've got to get an agent so I can get a publisher. I've got to get a publisher so I can be published. I need to publish multiple books so I can actually start living off my royalties. I need to get movie deals. I want to win a Pulitzer. Someday people will teach with my books in literature classes.

Oh my stars and garters.

I've decided to stop. I've decided to live more for today.

Oh, and if you also have been raised with that Evangelical guilt trip about future thinking, remember this verse:
"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself." Matthew 6:34.

So, yeah, don't cut your hair. But, maybe you should at least try to get a job. After you've smelled the flowers. And been my loving woman, and I've been your loving man. So to speak.

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