Every inspirational book on writing says “Just write.”
You want to be a writer? Write.
I don’t know about you, but I sometimes get a little angry when they say that.
Easy for you, famous author! I think. You get paid to write books like this very one I’m holding! I have a lot of other things going on! Responsibilities! Life!
They never have a comeback. Just write, they say. Write anyway. A little every day.
I hate exercising, especially now when I am out of shape and getting older and exercise is even harder than it used to be.
Exercise anyway, the professional trainers say. A little every day.
Shut up, stupid trainer! I think. It’s hard! I’m too fat! I have a lot of other things going on! Responsibilities! Life!
I am going to be brutally honest with myself here. Maybe it will help you, too.
There are a million things keeping me from both creative writing and exercise. The responsibilities of parenting, marriage, home ownership, and work all get prioritized in front of my own self-care. (I count creative writing as self-care because I need it in order to feel whole.) For reasons which extend from both my upbringing and my socialization in this culture, I put myself dead last. Always.
To do that, to put myself last…that is a CHOICE.
What is the worst thing that would happen if I carved out an hour to go for a walk or to take my laptop somewhere quiet?
Who would I be failing?
But who will I be failing if I don’t carve out that time?
So the real reason I’m not finding the time is FEAR.
What am I afraid of? Let’s put a pin in that for now. We’ll come back to it.
I am not a expert in any of this, but here is what I know. If it is important to me, I’ll make the time. If not, I’ll make an excuse.*
So how important is it?
I’m going to think about that while I go for a walk.
* a paraphrased quote from Marie Forleo