I started playing a video game called Shovel Knight recently. It’s the tale of a knight whose primary weapon is a shovel, which he uses to great effect. It functions as both weapon and digging instrument, so not only can Shovel Knight crush his enemies, but also dig up fabulous jewels and tunnel into secret areas. It plays sort of like a medieval version of Mega Man, with a little bit of Ducktales and Metroid/Castlevania mixed in. It’s a good game. I really wanted to play it.
I almost put it off. Even though I’ve been looking forward to playing it for a very long time, I almost chose a less desirable game from my backlog, instead.
But why would I do that? Easy. I was waiting for the perfect time to play it; a time when I had several hours to spare, time to really sink my teeth into it and be completely engrossed. In the meantime, I would play less interesting games to fill the little bits of time. But THEN, when the perfect time strikes, Shovel Knight will be there for me.
It’s a trap. The perfect time doesn’t exist, in business or pleasure. Sometimes I recognize this, but lately, I’ve fallen back into the trap of waiting around, not doing anything, because it’s not the perfect time for it. I haven’t been drawing lately because I only have a half hour instead of an hour, and I haven’t been writing lately because I only have fifteen minutes instead of an hour. I haven’t been playing Shovel Knight because I only have an hour instead of five hours.
This kind of attitude is dangerous because if I keep this up, I may never get around to doing any of that stuff I want to do. Time is a precious commodity, so use it to do the things you really want to do. Any time you’re able to sit down and write or draw, or spend time with your family or friends, whatever it is that’s important to you, any time is the perfect time to do it, no matter how short or inconvenient it may be. Strike while the iron is hot. In fact, strike before you even have any iron.
This post is a little bit of a departure from what I normally do. It’s not intended to be overly sentimental or preachy. I just wanted to share a mistake I’ve made in the past (and will probably make again in the future) so you’ll know to avoid it.