It’s so simple, yet one of the hardest things to do:
If you wish to be a writer, write. -Epictetus
Why is it so hard? Natalie Goldberg sums it up best in her book, Writing Down the Bones:
Your kids are climbing into the cereal box. You have $1.25 left in your checking account. Your husband can’t find his shoes, your car won’t start, you know you have lived a life of unfulfilled dreams. There is a threat of nuclear holocaust, there is apartheid in South Africa, it is twenty degrees below zero outside, your nose itches, and you don’t have even three plates that match to serve dinner on. Your feet are swollen, you need to make a dentist appointment, the dog needs to be let out, you have to defrost the chicken and make a phone call to your cousin in Boston…
In short, there are so many other things that require our immediate attention than making up stories so people can read them during their free time.
But who says imagination and fun aren’t important? Did you know that being imaginative leads to better productivity overall?
Yet to us, the act of sitting down to write might not seem important enough to invest time and effort in as all the other things that Goldberg mentions.
Maybe that’s why I have such a hard time allowing myself to just sit and let out my ideas as they come to me. Because no one is asking for them, they aren’t going to get me anything in the short term, and they don’t come out whole or complete. So why bother?
Well, I have a lot to say that I wouldn’t get a chance to say if it wasn’t for my writing. That’s what ultimately gets me going. Plus, there’s nothing like letting your imagination run away with you sometimes. It gives your mind the fuel it needs to keep up with the everyday stuff you have to do over and over again.
Now I’m turning the floor over to you. How do you make time to write? What do you do to get the creative juices flowing? Feel free to reply in the comments section below!
7 thoughts on “Quote: “If you wish to be a writer…””
This was short and sweet! I suffer from depression, and the things that are write about are social issues- so I have a tough crowd or no crowd. I notice that once I stop writing, I feel like I have no sense of purpose. I got back into it again, and now I have two blogs, and one community page on Google+ for social justice bloggers that are angry lol. I think we need to make more time to write, and reach out to other bloggers/writers so that we have a support network. Good work 🙂
I definitely agree Nicole. The act of writing itself gives us purpose because we can focus on what we have to say and how it will connect us with others as well as with who we are as a person.
It’s such a good feeling to be able to do so consistently, just for our own satisfaction and well being. And supporting one another as a writing community is SO important! Thanks so much for commenting and for your support 🙂 Looking forward to future posts on your blog, which I’ve enjoyed reading so far!
I find the time, but then I decide my desk drawer needs sorting. My mind is very adept at finding ways to avoiding writing. Great post!
Yes! I’ve definitely been there Mike. But sometimes, even if you don’t end up writing, just thinking about writing or attempting to write might be enough to get the wheels turning.
Without realizing it, your mind may subconsciously sort through any ideas or thoughts that you have, which may surface the next time you sit down to write. Thanks for reading and commenting 🙂
Hopefully this comment works! I have a crazy life and I just try and make time, it sets me free when I am depressed or stressed out. I find that I am my best when I am writing.
Good morning Jen!
Great post. I really can relate to everything mentioned. I schedule my writing time and try to stick to it. Unfortunately, drama always occurs and it requires me to stop. I think one of the biggest things that I’ve learned since I became a full-time writer is not to beat myself up when I get pulled away. Life is about choices and prioritizing. Thanks so much for sharing this great post. I really enjoyed reading it. Have a great day!
Thanks for replying Diane! Your insight is much appreciated and comes in the nick of time. It’s a nice reminder of how we should pace ourselves and not beat ourselves up for being human and needing to make other things in our lives the priority. Thanks again 🙂
Your blog is lovely and I look forward to reading more from you!