Playing Hooky

WRITING 02I shouldn’t be here. By which I mean that the line-edits for Yamada Monogatari: The Emperor in Shadow have arrived and I really should be working on them instead of fiddling with the blog. In my defense, I did work on them most of the morning, and will likely go back to them once I’m done here. For the moment I am, to put it bluntly, playing hooky.

Is that term still in use? It’s kind of old-fashioned, I know, and hardly anyone agrees on the derivation, even though it’s likely only 19th century in age.  It once meant something very specific–cutting school. By expansion, at least to me, it has come to mean doing something by preference when you really ought to be doing something else. There’s some irony there. In college I would often play hooky by writing stories when I was supposed to be be studying for a Technical Writing test or something of that–allegedly–more serious sort. For a time I considered writing the same thing as playing hooky, since there was always–always–something else I really should be doing. That’s no less true now.

There’s always another demand on your time. There likely always will be. Odds are you have a day job and have to fit the writing around that. Or tests to study for. Or a dinner at the in-laws. It’s always something. So I never got anywhere until I gave myself permission to choose writing over something else. Dealing with the guilt, yes, because we are free to choose but never free from the consequences. You have to decide for yourself where the balance turns. But if you fear anything, it should not be the guilt. It’s the time come and gone that will never come back.

So treat yourself. Play hooky.