The Best Time to Plant a Tree…

I believe the adage is something like “The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago and the second best time is today.” I’ve planted lots of trees over my life, both ideas and actual trees. I’ve been writing for some years and my primary career has been working with new technologies. I’ve experimented with both, trying to find the best ways to put them together. But I haven’t been consistent, so I haven’t planted a forest (or something else deeper and meaningful-er, and do share if you figure that out. What’s been missing is focus. Focus on something farther out than staying busy and learning. I starting to feel the need to change my approach. To start planting with greater purpose. This blog is part of that focus, but there are a few other plans as well. What drew me to this conclusion was considering better ways to increase my efficiency, especially by finding more meaning in what I am able to fit into the schedule. With two small children, time is precious and efforts need to add up to something more than “I read a book and I’m done.” Even reading books can be a chore, even if reading has been a major source of pleasure and relaxation my entire life. Watching my 7-year old tear through stacks of library loans now that she’s mastered reading has been a wonderful experience, and one I look forward to repeating with my son, but dang if I’m not jealous of her time and ability to compartmentalize (except for when hunger calls). So if my first act of focus was to build a new website, one I hope to use for quite some time, the second was to clean up my Goodreads account and installed the Goodreads Progress Widget. It’s a small thing, but connects my habits with the world. Exhausted and time-strapped, I’ve tended to fall back on graphic novels for quick reads before bed. And reading during the day, which any writer benefits from doing on a regular basis, has been a guilty pleasure. Which means it tumbles down the To Do List when so many other things need done. Much like when you clean your place top to bottom before working on an essay. So in the same way that writing posts will help me learn and plan at a deeper level and how sharing resources will provide value for those who discover my website, knowing my reading habits will be online (and appear  stale if dated) means I have a reason to read. So learning from other authors, internalizing what I learn by writing reviews, and also sharing the nuggets I find worth investing time in – layers of reasons to get back to reading long-form fiction and reasons to overcome any guilt I might feel for doing so. And so, if I follow-through, not only is the seed planted and the sapling reaching for the sun, but I’m also nurturing the young tree with a  hope it grows tall and healthy.