All this week I’ve started an unexpected series of blog posts that are quickly being referred to as the “What The Hell?” series. I like it. Each post has covered a different aspect a writer will deal with. Marketing, Editing, Publishing, but this morning I woke up to a awesome comment on the blog from a good friend, and writer, TL Jeffcoat, and it inspired me. I realized I hadn’t yet covered the most important part or any dream: Life.
Welcome to Life: What The Hell?
It’s too easy for us to become lost in the writing world. The ups and downs of loving and hating are writing are always going to be there. The frustrations with marketing and that despise many of us feel for editing are going to exist, there is no way to get around it. What about life? Where does that fit into the equation.
Life. It’s here, it’s there, it’s all around us. If you spend too much time in front of the computer, you’re going to miss it. It’ll pass you by in the blink of an eye. That’s a fact. If you don’t get out there, and leave your WIP behind, you’re losing out on something valuable. Existing. In the midst of that existing, is inspiration. Inside that inspiration is the next best thing: You’re story.
As a writer, there is more to life than just existing. Once you have the next best thing, and you’re ready to sit down and write, first you must find time.
Each our lives are so very different. I have two daughters – a four-year-old and new baby who was two months old on Tuesday. I have a wife, a full-time job, vehicle and mortgage payments, credit card bills, loans…yeah…life. When do you find time to write?
Between all of the above, I have housework that needs to be done, research I have to do, parent teacher meetings, author interviews, blogs to read/write, meetings to have, and above all else, I need to have time to spend with my family. Bedtimes, story time, family movie nights, game nights, swimming lessons, girl guides, and other extra curricular activities the little ones are so eager to be a part of. Now granted I don’t do all this on my own, not by a long shot, but somehow, in the midst of all that, I find time to do two things.
First, I find time to enjoy life. Have a little time to myself, whether it be watching a movie, or some TV with my wife. Playing some video games, or hanging out with friends.
Second, I write. Is there a lot of time for this when all is said and done? No, but nothing a little lack of sleep, or rearranging of my schedule can’t fix. Maybe it’s cutting back on the television and movie me time. If that’s what has to be done, that’s a sacrifice I make in order to progress one step further toward my dream.
I’m writing about this because I’m friends with A LOT of writers, and I know their lives are just as – if not more – hectic than mine. It happens. Most people can’t afford to quit their job and try their hand at writing. Others are blessed with the opportunity to do just that. Each of us is different. Our friends and family are different, our jobs are different, our ideas and story’s are different. We may have minor similarities, or similar thought processes, but in the end, we’re each our own person.
Then there is that small portion of people who like to pick apart how difficult their lives are. This doesn’t just refer to writing, this refers to people in general. They don’t have time for themselves because they’re so busy. They don’t have time to write, or edit, or market, or proof read, because they have kids, or a day job, or they constantly have a boat load of errands. We all have those people in our lives, and their a major suck on your positive energy.
Nobody I know gets away with whining to me about how busy they are. Nobody. Unless you’re a single mother with 3 kids and two full-time jobs, I don’t want to hear about it. In fact, even then I don’t want to hear about it. I have friends who are single mothers, with more than one kid, who work their ass off just to pay rent. But even they manage to find time to enjoy themselves, or push themselves just a little closer to their dream. Maybe it’s reading a book, maybe it’s writing one. Maybe its just enjoying a favorite television show. If you want it: Make the time.
I see this is turning into a rant. Let me take a moment to reel myself in.
Almost there, just one more drink of coffee.
Ahhh. There we go. Consider this rant deterred.
My point is, we’re all busy. We all have things that we have to do that are unavoidable. Some of those things are a time suck and we hate doing them, but they have to be done.
Do not. I repeat: DO NOT, let that stop you from enjoying your life. DO NOT, let it stop you from aspiring to reach your goals. If we don’t have dreams, what’s the point of it all?
Your dream isn’t to far away. The size of the mountain in front of you doesn’t matter. In fact, it’s not even important. The only thing important is your desire to climb it. If you find the desire, the will to accomplish will follow.
In other words: if you want to make it happen, it’s up to you.
You have to rearrange your schedule and make time. Maybe it’s only twenty minutes a day. Doesn’t matter. It’s twenty minutes you have available.
You have to push all the doubts and negativity aside. Others will try to bring you down. You’ll try to bring yourself down. It’s going to happen. It’s up to you, not to let it keep you down.
You have to work every chance you get to climb that single inch further.
You need to be able to recognize how hard you work, and remember how great it’s going to feel when you’ve accomplished your goal.
That’s it. If you want it bad enough, make it happen.
When push comes to shove, and life is so hard, and the world is against you, use that desire you once found and push back, because in the end, You are the only one holding yourself back.
Oh, and don’t, under any circumstance, tell me you can’t, because I know you can. You just need to know it too.