During a study break, I opened one of the handful of Chicken Soup books I own. Shockingly, it was one I hadn't read - an entire book dedicated to resolutions. I started flipping through, reading some stories and skimming others, when perspective crept up out of nowhere and slapped me across the face. Resolutions, if you think about it, are nothing more than setting goals. This is something I always try to do, but don't always succeed on.
Two stories in particular caught my eye. In one, the writer resolved to stop watching television. She estimated that she had added six years to her life by filling former tv time with other activities. In the other, a writing student passed on the wisdom of his teacher. "[A rejection letter is just] proof that you're writing." As I read this, I heard a click as the truth of the simple statement sunk in. Now, this statement is over my desk in the hopes that one day I will begin collecting rejection letters of my own.
It seems both interesting and ironic that I should read a story about gaining free time and about the craft I so love on the same night that I made a significant move to clear my own schedule. No, I didn't drop out of school. I narrowed my personal extracurricular activities, specifically my involvement in online role-plays. If I can get up the guts to make the big leap, as of tomorrow I will only be on one RP site. I will only have one online distraction/commitment to maintain and I know the people there will wait for me.
In making this decision, I'm dropping about ten RP characters (the number would have been unthinkable had I done this six months ago.) As an avid RPer, this is a pretty big deal for me. I've been taking part in RPs for ten years. Am I ready to quit entirely? No, but I don't think I'll ever quit entirely. Today, however, I've decided to move away from any RP groups I participate in that I don't get anything out of. If playing my characters is nothing but a time-filler, the sort of thing I could do with my eyes closed or in my sleep, if I have no plots to play or characters to build off of, I'm leaving that group.
It's time I take my spare time seriously and do what I actually want to do.