Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The First Thing You Wish Your Non-writer (and loving) Friends & Family Understood About Writing

That you actually can't—and probably won't—just do it tomorrow.

Since your day job has consumed most of your braincells during the week, you've made plans to write all weekend. You're not sure how much time you have to spend on your writing over the next few weeks, so you want to get a solid number of pages down. And if you're honest with yourself, you haven't made writing a priority over the past weeks at all, not even during the weekends. So you've stacked up on food, run your errands, even done your laundry, to make sure nothing will interrupt you in your focus. Saturday morning your friends decide that they're going to Palm Springs for a short weekend and want you to go with them. "Come just one day! You can write tomorrow!" Their pleads make you feel like you're neglecting them.

"Just do it tomorrow" quickly becomes a habit and if you're anything like me, it can take months to break that habit once you've given in to it. And it's hard enough to know you're missing out on social events while you're home writing, without your friends' pleads. But stay strong, help them to understand that even though you may not be a paid writer yet, you have to treat your writing as if you were, or it'll never become reality. And therefore you have to make priorities. Otherwise, the dream of being a paid writer, will forever be just that—a dream.

Of course life isn't only about writing and working. It's about friends and loved ones as well. It comes down to planning and sticking to it. Perhaps you decide that every Sunday is writing day. Then Saturdays are free. Perhaps every other weekend is your designated writing time. Unless there's a wedding or birthday celebration, stick to it. Sooner or later they will begin to take your writing seriously. But you have to start taking it seriously first.