One part writing, six parts living

It’s actually going to be nice here in the Northwest this weekend, and I plan to be deeply out in it. We’ve had this summer that just refuses to start, and this weekend temps are scheduled to soar to the mid-70’s.

And I will be nowhere near my computer.

Lately, I’ve been thinking there’s a time for everything, and if you do things in their right time (sleeping at night, working during the day instead of procrastinating), it decreases a great deal of anxiety. It sounds obvious, but much of my life I’ve fought off what was actually happening at the moment.  I’ve fought off working when it was time to work (you know, checking email, facebook, the fridge–that sort of thing), but I also fought off play.  In the late 80’s I went to a Prince concert in Oakland. It was pretty cool….it wasn’t the Purple Rain tour but he hadn’t changed his name to that onyx-looking symbol yet.  Oakland is a great place to see a concert. I was with friends. I should’ve been right into it. But weirdly my head was with my stupid thesis that I’d been writing-delaying-writing, and this cloud of Oh-God-I-have-so-much-to-do.  It was a Tonight-We’re-Gonna-Party-like-it’s-1999 sort of night, and in my head it was October 1929, moments after the big crash.

Not long after that I finally finished my dreaded thesis and got a job teaching in Utah.  The black-leggings, nose-in-book period of my MA was officially over and so were my 20’s, almost.  I suddenly realized that I’d spent the last three years working or thinking I should be working. Even though I was being “productive,” I’d missed out on some living.  I decided that year I was going to do some living, and in the next few months I did just that. I caught my first (small) fish; I rode on the back of my friend Nancy’s motorcycle, I flew in a

Zion National Park

two-seater plane over Zion Canyon and took on the role of International Club Adviser at the two-year college where I taught (which involved all sorts of things the bookish me would never have time for–like creating a float for the Homecoming Parade and bowling).

There’s a time for writing and there’s a time for living.  And this blisteringly hot weekend (72 degrees!), I intend to live.

About Theo Pauline Nestor

Author of Writing Is My Drink (Simon & Schuster) and How to Sleep Alone in a King-Size Bed. Learn more about my courses, editing, and coaching at
This entry was posted in More Stuff for Writers, Theo Finding Her Voice, Writing Tips. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to One part writing, six parts living

  1. Star Roberts says:

    I love how you used ‘soar’ and ‘mid-70’s’ in the same sentence. Aren’t we Northwesterners a glass-half-full-people when it comes to sunshine? On another positive note, we’ve had really perfect writing weather (and we don’t live in the scorching, sweltering, sticky, part of the country).

    Me? I’m going to a garden party. He’s no Prince, but maybe Ricky Nelson will be there…

    I went to a garden party to reminisce with my old friends
    A chance to share old memories and play our songs again
    When I got to the garden party, they all knew my name
    No one recognized me, I didn’t look the same

    But it’s all right now, I learned my lesson well.
    You see, ya can’t please everyone, so ya got to please yourself

  2. jeanne verville says:

    Right on! Exactly what I’ve decided. We’d better make the most of our five-week summer! And isn’t this the best place in nice weather?

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