“You cannot plow a field by turning it over in your mind.” - Gordon B. Hinckley
“You learn to speak by speaking, to study by studying, to run by running, to work by working, and just so, you learn to love by loving. All those who think to learn in any other way deceive themselves.” - St. Francis de Sales
“If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.” - Albert Einstein
I’m a collector of quotes and I often discover a similar theme running through the ones that I save. Lately, one of them seems to be my need to spend less time dreaming about a project or idea and more time actually putting it down to paper. I think as writers we are often full of inspiration, but need more perspiration to get the job done.
Of course, many of my writing friends don’t seem to have this problem; they wake up ready to write and take advantage of any opportunity to do so. I, however, have a tendency to let other things take priority over my writing time. I volunteer, overcommit, and procrastinate away the time that I have delegated for writing. I wonder why I do this. At times I’ve even asked myself - do I really want to keep writing?
I know that the answer is yes. I enjoy writing. I enjoy meeting my characters and discovering their story. In fact, my time writing is almost always one of the most pleasant parts of my day. So why do I let everything else come first and bump writing down my list of priorities?
I think it’s because I’m not selfish enough about my writing time. Perhaps because I’m not published and I’m not contributing financially to my family’s income with my writing, I feel like other things should come first. Family commitments, volunteer commitments, graduate school homework, kids' activities, household chores, etc. always feel like they have to come first - and then I’ll squeeze in the writing around those things. Unfortunately, those things never seem to end and my writing goals rarely get accomplished.
I think it will ultimately come down to me making the decision that writing is a priority for me, especially if I’d like to earn even a meager income from it some day. If I don’t start putting it first, then who else will? While my family is very supportive, it is still up to me to move writing up my list of priorities.
After all: “They always say that time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” - Andy Warhol
Accountability and deadlines help me a lot to try and achieve those writing goals. If you’d like to join our summer reading and writing challenge, please do!