Do you really want to write?
That’s a question we all need to ask ourselves. If the answer is no, then you should find something else to do with your time. If the answer is yes, then you need to evaluate what that “yes” means.
Yes, You Want To Write
You’ve determined that you want to write. What does that mean, exactly?
Do you want to write when it’s convenient? When you have nothing else to do? Only when inspiration hits? Are you willing to sacrifice other things to write?
It’s important to answer these questions so you can determine what your commitment is to writing. Is it a hobby? Or do you want to make money writing?
I’ve always wanted to write books. I started in elementary school with a bound journal. My “book” was a mystery based on the Encyclopedia Brown series. I even illustrated it. Junior high hit me hard and I put aside my writing.
In high school, I took a creative writing class that triggered my desire to write again. But, when I went to college, I forgot about writing while I studied and then graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications.
Writing Takes Commitment
I married and started a family. While raising my young children, I knitted, crocheted, gardened, and took piano lessons. I then took a creative writing class at a local community college and realized that if I wanted to write, I had to stop waiting for the perfect time and just be committed enough to it to sacrifice the other things I liked to do.
Of course, my family always came first (and still does), but I gave up knitting, crafts, piano, training horses, and scrapbooking to concentrate on writing.
I signed up for online forums, took online classes, attended workshops, and read book after book on writing techniques. I also read books in the genre in which I hoped to write. It took time, especially as I squeezed it in between raising my growing family and caring for my aging grandparents. It wasn’t easy, but I learned a valuable lesson.
We Make Time for What’s Important to Us
We can make time for that which we feel is important. People will say, “I just don’t have time to write.” If you find yourself saying that, you may not be as committed to writing as you believe you are.
We make time every day to exercise, watch TV, go to movies, play computer games, surf Facebook or other social media, write and read emails, or thousands of other activities that use up our time.
Writing may mean giving up some of those things.
And, really, if you’re committed enough to writing, you won’t miss them.
Being a writer means parking your behind in the chair and writing. Day after day, week after week, year after year–even when it’s hard–especially when it’s hard–and working through it all to your finished product.
Writers write when they’d rather be outside, when they’d rather be watching a favorite TV show, when they’d rather be shopping, or even when they’d rather be reading a book.
Writers make the time to write. It doesn’t magically appear. It takes effort to carve out writing time.
Writing Can Be Lonely
Writing can be very lonely. It’s just you and your keyboard. It can take weeks, even months or years, to get through a rough draft. Add rewriting, editing, and all the assorted things we must do to produce and market our books or send manuscripts to agents and editors, and you can see that writing isn’t for the faint of heart.
But, there’s nothing quite like seeing a story in your head take shape on your screen. And when you publish your words–your story– and someone else reads it, it’s exhilarating. It’s even better if the reader loves it! But here’s a secret: even if a reader hates your book, it still gives you some satisfaction to know that your story elicited a reaction in that reader. That’s what we want! Of course, it’s better to have a positive reaction rather than a negative one, but a reaction is better than no reaction at all.
Yes, being a writer is full of mixed emotions. For me, I feel driven to write stories. It’s how I feed my creativity. I love creating characters and worlds where those characters live and breathe. Most writers I know, also feel driven to write.
So, ask yourself, do you really want to write?
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