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Time: Lost in the Weeds & Wilderness December 3, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Word Play, Writing & Writers.

Wikipedia ~ A Christmas Carol (in Public Domain)

The prodigious and prolific works of Jane Austen and Charles Dickens have endured from their time to ours.

Readers continue to harvest perennials sown in their literary gardens ~ Sense and Sensibility, A Christmas Carol, Pride and Prejudice, A Tale of Two Cities, Emma, David Copperfield, Northanger Abbey, Oliver Twist, Mansfield Park, The Pickwick Papers, Great Expectations . . .

Of course, they had it easy ~ far fewer distractions while writing.

No phone calls to interrupt the train of their thought. No distracting music blaring from stereos or television sets. No planes to catch, cars to maintain, or bicycles to ride. No cyber-space for surfing.

3D-CowAusten lived in the country. She could slop the hogs, or she could write. She could feed the chickens and gather eggs, or she could write. She could weed the garden, or she could write. She could milk the cows, or she could write.

She chose writing.

Dickens lived in London with a few more distractions, like admiring the large turkey hanging in the poulterer’s window at Christmas tide, but not nearly the number of distractions that assault us each day.

He could dodge offerings from bed pans flung into the gutters of London town, or he could write. He could feed the birds, or he could write. He could wander the shoppes and admire the polluted Thames, or he could write.

Seize-the-day_He chose writing.

Even today, with all the distractions swirling around, it still comes down to a simple choice ~ we can either waste time or spend it wisely, focused on our priorities.

It’s amazing the things we do . . . to avoid doing amazing things. ♥ ♥ ♥

Related posts:  Sidey’s Weekend Theme ~ Long Live The Weeds and The Wilderness Yet (View From The Side) * A Reading Fast (Write Up My Life) * Weeds and Wilderness (Kate Shrewsday) * Loss of Wilderness Means Loss of Self (Lisa Wields Words) * Time Long Past (Mirth & Motivation)


1. Andra Watkins - December 3, 2011

That last line is golden, Nancy. Stabbed me in the heart. Great post.

nrhatch - December 3, 2011

Thanks. It’s probably a golden nugget I picked up along the way, but I googled it and most hits came back to SLTW. So, maybe the line is “mine” after all. 😉

2. Maggie - December 3, 2011

I choose to write because it makes me happier than doing anything else. 🙂 Good post.

nrhatch - December 3, 2011

Same here . . . but I also love FOOD . . . and MUSIC . . . and LAUGHING . . . and DANCE . . . and WALKS ON THE BEACH. 😀

3. Pocket Perspectives - December 3, 2011

Ouch!….so true… a memorable quote! “it’s amazing the things we do to avoid doing amazing things”….. oh my, so true! Here you go, Nancy…
may it inspire me to get busy with what really matters. 🙄


nrhatch - December 3, 2011

Wow! That was SUPER FAST! Glad you have a new refrigerator slogan to motivate you! 😀

Pocket Perspectives - December 3, 2011

yes…I sometimes make things quickly, when the spirit moves me….or maybe lights the way?….or something like that…. : )

nrhatch - December 3, 2011

And . . . inspires. 😀

4. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide - December 3, 2011

I bet there were things to distract them even back then!

nrhatch - December 3, 2011

Yeah . . . like growing food, sewing their own clothes, doing laundry “down by the river,” etc. 😉

5. adeeyoyo - December 3, 2011

Sometimes I wish I was more easily distracted, Nancy. I spend hours, joyful hours, writing, but I see people looking at me askance as if there is something wrong with me!

nrhatch - December 3, 2011

I know JUST what you mean, Denise:

“So, nr, what have you been doing lately for FUN?”
“Not much. Mostly, writing.”
“Oh . . . that sounds like . . . ”

Definitely not everyone’s cup of tea.

6. kateshrewsday - December 3, 2011

Both Austen and Dickens made a living out of writing, something of which I am greatly envious. Dickens even founded his own publishing house. For the chance to earn a living, writing, I think I could ignore cows and bedpans 😀

nrhatch - December 3, 2011

Same here! Here’s to weeding our gardens . . . to make room for perennial favorites and literary priorities!

nrhatch - December 3, 2011

BTW: To celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Dickens in 2012 the Museum of London hosts the UK’s first major exhibition on the author for 40 years.

Dickens and London opens on 9 December 2011 and is on until 10 June 2012.

7. bluebee - December 3, 2011

A marvelous take on the theme, Nancy. Few of us have the luxury of earning a living through writing but must, nevertheless, make the time to write. Your post is a reminder not to squander hours (something I’m rather experienced at). Choose to write=choose life, for me

nrhatch - December 3, 2011

Thanks, BlueBee. Whether we enjoy getting lost in a wilderness of words, a palette of paint, or other hobbies and endeavors, being mindful of how we spend our days adds life to our years.

8. Team Oyeniyi - December 3, 2011

Great thoughts, Nancy. I agree the last line kicks a@#

nrhatch - December 3, 2011

Thanks, Robyn. Here’s to investing our time wisely. 😀

9. Tilly Bud - December 3, 2011

My mind is boggling at the thought of JA slopping the hogs! I’m pretty sure hers would have, too 🙂

nrhatch - December 3, 2011

I expect you’re right. She was far too busy reading, sewing, and playing the pianoforte to pay attention to animal husbandry. 😀

10. souldipper - December 3, 2011

Oh oh. Have you been peeking in my window? I feel like one of the kids in the Family Circus comic strip. Did you get that cartoon? I head straight to the keyboard with my fantastic idea and end up with a trail that looks like a ball of yarn dropped from a hummingbird’s flight plan!

nrhatch - December 3, 2011

I love the image of your “path of distractions” superimposed over one of those “flight of the bumblebee” (or hummingbird) Family Circus comics.

Buzz a while . . . 😀

11. Lisa Wields Words - December 3, 2011

I love this post but not just for the idea of choosing to write. Thanks for the reminder of the importance and value of making wise choices in our life, or avoiding those choices and getting sucked into time wasting distractions. I choose to live each moment as fully as possible.

nrhatch - December 3, 2011

Thanks, Lisa! When my spirits are “low,” I waste far more time with distractions (and dead ends) than when I am enthusiastic and inspired.

The more “in the moment” we are . . . the better our choices tend to be. Be Here Now. 😀

12. Patricia - December 3, 2011

How timely. I spent the whole day…and now the evening…doing things to avoid doing other things. The other things have deadlines so tomorrow…

nrhatch - December 3, 2011

Some days are made for time wasting . . . and, remember, if you enjoyed yourself, it’s not wasted time. 😀

13. jeanne - December 3, 2011

We are amazing beings…created to be amazing…we shouldn’t short change ourselves…amaze yourself…BE amazing!

nrhatch - December 3, 2011

You’re such an inspiration, Jeanne . . . starting an antique business to honor your dream and share your passion.

On with the dance!

14. thirdhandart - December 3, 2011

A very wise and meaningful post. That last line is definitely a keeper. I had to write it down so that I could share it with my daughter. I hope that’s ok. Didn’t want to misquote you.

nrhatch - December 3, 2011

Thanks, Theresa. Absolutely . . . share away. 😀

15. Perfecting Motherhood - December 4, 2011

That is a funny looking cow!

I agree writers today (and people in general) have way more distractions than even 20 years ago. The key is to know how to turn it off, and often it’s not possible to turn it all off completely. If you look at the most prolific writers, they’ll tell you they close their door every day for the same number of hours and don’t allow interruptions of any kind. That’s what I do when I have big projects I work on, but temptation is hard sometimes, since the easy way is less painful!

nrhatch - December 4, 2011

Moo! Life is a complicated and complex beast at times. There is always something or someone “banging at the door” wanting to intrude on our creativity and “me time.”

But often we are the ones who choose to pursue unnecessary distractions . . . instead of focusing on the task at hand.

16. SidevieW - December 4, 2011

we can find reasons to procrastinate on the procrastination, if we just try a little

nrhatch - December 5, 2011

It is easy to get lost in the weeds and the wilderness . . . rather than mindfully cultivating our gardens.

Thanks for an interesting theme this week, Sidey.

17. LittleMissVix - December 5, 2011

Love Jane Austen! Legend has it when she moved to Bath she didn’t write at all as she hated the noise, dirt etc but when she moved to her country cottage she flourished again!

nrhatch - December 5, 2011

Ms. Austen definitely had a way with words . . . with lovely hidden gems for us to admire.

It wouldn’t surprise me to find that country living suited her literary aims far better than living amid the social whirl of Bath.

18. ElizOF - December 7, 2011

Even with all that swirls around me and my life, I still write… I can no longer imagine a life without daily writing, even if one doesn’t add the piece to a blog… 😉

nrhatch - December 7, 2011

It’s high on my list of daily priorities . . . but I can skip days from time to time without suffering withdrawal symptoms.

Laughter, on the other hand, is as important to me as breathing. A day without laughter is a day wasted. 😛

19. Reflections: Time Long Past… | Mirth and Motivation - December 7, 2011

[…] Time Lost In The Weeds & Wilderness (nrhatch.wordpress.com) […]

20. nuvofelt - December 9, 2011

Austen’s country cottage is just up the road from where I live. I visit often. It’s a haven and inspiration.

nrhatch - December 9, 2011

Oh, how cool! She and Beatrix Potter had the right idea . . . to write away from the bright city lights.

21. CMSmith - December 13, 2011

You’re right. We still have a choice. But I also think it takes a lot more focus and discipline today.

Jane Austin is my favorite.

nrhatch - December 13, 2011

I agree. More of us have leisure time and literacy skills these days BUT we are pulled in so many different directions that it is harder to remain focused.

22. Pocket Perspectives - December 28, 2011

Here you go….thank you so much for the inspiration…. “it’s amazing the things we do to avoid….” …I took that idea and then tried to carry it along to making forward progress toward doing “amazing things”

thank you, Nancy….

nrhatch - December 28, 2011

Thanks, Kathy! Here’s to honoring and unearthing the amazing possibilities in each of us. 😀

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