article writing, blogging, Creative Writing, Editing, finding time, John Lennon, Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans, novel writing, novels, teaching, The Beatles, Writing
We all know him well from both his time with The Beatles and on his own/with his wife. I was six when he was shot and killed. They used his song Beautiful Boy in the movie Mr. Holland’s Opus and in that song is the famous line “Life is what happens to you while you‘re busy making other plans”.
I must admit that I have been thinking about that more and more lately. In the movie, Richard Dreyfuss plays a composer who got his teaching degree to “fall back on”. After his band gigs dry up, he takes a job at a local high school as a music teacher. He composes in his spare time which is used up more and more by duties at school. He learns to love his job and his students but he still carries that passion. When the school board cuts the music program, he ends up retiring. His wife has secretly rounded up past students to form an orchestra and play, for the first time ever, the piece of music, the opus, that he has worked on for 30 years.
When I was a child, all I wanted to be was a nurse. I’m not going to bore my ongoing readers with all the details I have shared before but I made it. I have worked as an RN since 1999. For the last 15 years I have been writing novels and, for the last six or so, I have been teaching writing. As you also know, I go to work each day and dream about sitting at home and writing. By the time I get home at the end of the day, often I’m too tired to sit and write. All I want to do is crash on the couch and count the hours until I can go to bed.
“Life is what happens to you while you‘re busy making other plans”
We spend hours, days, weeks, months, even years making other plans. In the interim, we experience life, or whatever is “meant to be”. What if we want the plans though? But think of this… if you were to finally get your dream would you still love it?
I ask myself this all the time. Now my dream is really for my novels to find a publisher and sell reasonably well… well enough to support me and allow me to write what I want to write. That’s a big difference from, say, freelance writing. Sure I like writing articles, and I love blogging. But would I be happy doing that for eight hours a day to support myself? Could I “come home” or rather retire upstairs and still want to spend time on my own writing and editing? Would I still want to go out and teach a class?
We all want what we can’t have whether that’s large scale or small scale. People have asked me about owning a home rather than renting. My snow gets cleared, my grass gets cut. If anything in my house breaks down, it’s only my problem until the landlord can send someone to fix it. I don’t have to hire a plumber, I don’t even have to buy my own fridge! Because of my back, this works for me, especially not having the yard work.
What “life” has happened to you while you’ve been busy making other plans?