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Tag: joy

How Do You Want to Spend This Time?

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.

“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

My absolute, absolute favorite quote from The Fellowship of the Ring. (I include it in the beginning of chapter 9 in The Joyful Vegan.)

It’s timeless, and it’s timely.

Of course, we should be considering this every day — not just in a time of crisis like we’re experiencing now. But while our lives are disrupted and we’re physically (and painfully) distancing from one another, it sure seems like a good time to ratchet that up.

J.R.R. Tolkein wrote Lord of the Rings several years after returning from the First World War — during which time he witnessed death and suffering beyond what most of us can even imagine, including the slaughter of his dearest friends, and survived trench fever and many illnesses that he contracted from his time in the cold, wet, lice-infested trenches.

“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

I’m not saying we have to pressure ourselves to write the next great novel or find a cure for the coronavirus pandemic, but creating some parameters around this time may be helpful, useful, and meaningful.

In other words, what can we do now so that when we look back 6 or 12 months from now, we can say, “I’m glad I did that” or “I’m proud of how I used that time”?

It might be

  • reading Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit, because…Gandalf!
  • reading any book you’ve been meaning to read
  • watching a documentary series
  • decluttering your house
  • planting a garden
  • learning to bake bread
  • or … writing the next great novel

What you choose to do is up to you, and that’s the point. What do you want to do now so you can look back months from now and be happy or proud or satisfied with what you decided?

Time is going to pass anyway. How do you want to spend it? 

Pregnant with a New Book Baby!

I can’t believe it’s been 8 years since I sold a book to a publisher, and just having done so again just means so much. I’m currently writing In Defense of Compassion: The Joyful Vegan’s Guide to Life in a Non-Vegan World, which will be released sometime in 2019 or 2020 (TBD) by BenBella Books, publisher of such bestselling books as The China Study.

It’s been a long and painful road to get back here, and though I never stopped writing (podcast episodes, self-published works, talks, radio editorials, opinion pieces, blog posts, letters to the editor, articles), somehow being contracted to write a book feels more real. It’s not. But it feels that way.

I’ve always wanted to be a writer. More than that, I’ve always wanted to be an author. And even if I never wrote another book, I’d still be that. For sure. And I’m proud of each and every one of my babies.

But having something to say, organizing those thoughts into a proposal, and selling your idea to editors who think the world would want it…it feeds me so much.

The process of wordsmithing my ideas so that they’re succinct and understandable and absorbable and inspirational and actionable (while remaining unattached to the outcome! Ha!) is both maddening and exhilarating! Working toward to goal of birthing these ideas into the world just nourishes my very cells.

Symbolically, I feel like “I’m back,” even though I never went anywhere. But I did go somewhere. And better than being “back,” I’m on the other side. And I’m pregnant with so many books I can’t wait to follow this one with.

And yet, that is just one form of the content that lives in so many other ways: in my podcast, my articles, blog posts, letters to the editor, opinion pieces, and radio editorials. I strive to remain unattached to form, but I guess I’m just not there yet.

I’m just a practicing human. With another book to write!