“The beginning is always today.” Mary Shelley, novelist
I had every intention of keeping up with my writing while on my awesome vacation in Alaska. I dutifully took my writing notebook and my trusty laptop. After all, I had four hours at the Seattle airport (both ways) to let the creative juices flow. I was confident I would have enough downtime to write every day – just imagine how much I could get done! I was committed to writing, writing and more writing!
I’m sure you’ve already guessed that my commitment waivered while I was away. The plane ride was long, the airport was crowded, I was tired, I was too excited…the list of excuses I can come up with is extensive. The truth is I just didn’t feel like writing. We’ve all been there for various reasons – putting off what we can do today until…whenever. Whenever the inspiration hits, whenever we have time, whenever ___ (fill in your word of choice).
As I browsed the many wonderful books at Barnes & Noble (one of my favorite places) today, I was reminded of why I started writing in the first place. Because I love stories. Reading them, writing them, seeing them. Dialogue, ideas, characters, new worlds are always swirling around in my head with the hope of some day being let out and composed into a story. Surrounded by thousands of books I asked myself if I was truly committed to continuing on this path. Am I willing to let my prior enthusiasm for my writing simply dissipate into the atmosphere?
No – I am not willing to simply let a few weeks of inactivity derail me from continuing to pursue my passion. Is it hard to re-commit? Absolutely! It’s similar to what I go through with my fitness regime. Unlike many lucky souls, I was not born with a natural enthusiasm for physical fitness. Read and write? Yes! Work out? No. But I do it because I know how good I feel after a workout. I feel accomplished and proud of myself not to mention it helps me rationalize my chocolate intake. And there are times when I have gone a week or more without working out. Maybe due to injury, vacation, or simple laziness. It’s hard, but I find ways to motivate myself to start up again and remind myself that it’s worth the effort. I accept that I took the break and rather than simply tossing my commitment aside, I re-commit and start again.
Now I’m doing the same thing with my writing. I accept that I took some time off and that’s okay. I love writing and have to remember I do it for fun, not work. I’ll never find the time to write if I don’t make the time. I have renewed my commitment to myself to keep going. Keep writing. My goal is to write for at least thirty minutes every day. As with anything else that takes time and work, it’s easy to let it slide and get to it later or maybe never. It’s important that we all look at the things we have set aside, whether in the short or long term, and ask ourselves, “is this really something I want to do?” And if the answer is yes, not in your head but in your heart, then find a way to re-commit. I’ll be right there with you.