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Jan 26, 2009

What if you had only one year left to write?

What if you knew FOR CERTAIN you had only a year left to write?

When I was single, I -- perhaps morbidly -- often spurred myself to write by thinking, "What if were to die young, having never written any of the stories I want to write?" Then I would try to write them down first, before my tragically early death. Once you have family, this no longer works quite the same way. If I only had a year to live, I would owe my every minute to my children, and to imagine missing them grow up is not inspiring, it's so depressing it cripples further thought.

But suppose that each writer has an actual Muse, and you Muse informed you, "Due to budget cuts on Mount Olympus, starting in September 2009, you will no longer be my client -- You will not able to write, and I will no longer be willing to help you."

Or, the sf equivalent: The Department of Normality Enforcement tells you that your hyperlexia -- whether it is a congenital condition or acquired through a CTD -- will, with the help of government-mandated medication, be "totally cured by the end of a year."

Either way. You have that long to write down everything you've wanted to write, or at least as much as you can squeeze into a few months.

It's one thing to feel one "should" write, or "would like to write" if only one had time. But suppose someone were to take it from you by force. Suppose you really only had a year left to write whatever it was in your life you were ever going to write. This puts things in a different light, doesn't it? What would you do?

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