Every year that I go to the San Francisco Writers Conference, or any writer’s conference, I always say that this is the year. This is the year that I will make the time to write. I am fortunate enough to have volunteered at the Maui Writer’s conference for 3 years before its unfortunate demise. And now in my 3rd year at the San Francisco Writer’s conference, I count myself even luckier to have been able to experienced so many wonderful sessions and for the knowledge of the publishing industry that I’ve gained each and every year. Two publishing internships and 6+ writers’ conferences later – all of the knowledge of the business in he world doesn’t magically turn into writing power. If anything, it confuses my psyche even more on what type(s) of writing speaks to me or what type of writing I want to write or that I would be successful at writing. Children’s books, short stories, poetry, maybe a novel? Fiction, Flash Fiction, Micro Fiction, perhaps a project book? There are so many choices it can be mind numbing and overwhelming. But I know that you can’t always choose because sometimes your psyche inevitably chooses for you.
Then there’s always also the excruciating fear of failure that goes along with writing. There must be some statistic of like 80% of writing includes or IS failure. So why be afraid? I like to think it’s because of that quote:
“If you find yourself asking yourself and your friends: ‘Am I really a writer? Am I really an Artist?’ Chances are, you ARE. The counterfeit innovator is wildly self confident. The real one is scared to death.” – Steven Pressfield
I also like what Gretchen Rubin says in The Happiness Project about enjoying the fun of failure. I know there is something to that theory – especially in the realm of writing. I’ve heard of authors/writers that keep every single one of their rejection letters like badges of honor. Or there’s Carolyn See who says that she writes thank you notes for her rejection letters. It takes the stigma (and the sting) out of it. The more rejections and ‘no’s’ you get, the closer you are to a yes.
Again though, you can’t even GET to the ‘no’ without making the time to write in the first place. And being around the creative minds of so many writers for a weekend makes it really feel tangible to take the time to do it – to really, really write. Fears and overwhelming choices aside, what it really all comes down to is writing. Just writing. And as with anything else, practice makes perfect.
All of the knowledge in the world can’t substitute simply taking the time to just write. MAKING THE TIME.
Easier said than done when you work a 40 hour 9-5 plus a side job teaching Zumba. Not to mention my other 3-4 hours a week I spend at the gym and my side love of playing softball. There’s also the bad fulfilling habit I choose to have of following 7+ television shows, my obvious needs to spend time with my wonderful husband and trying to fit in family time and some sort of social life and quality time with friends. I will say that I have no idea how mothers with full time jobs do it. While I can’t even begin to think about that chapter of our lives yet, I would like the picture myself as a fantastic, loving, creative mother who’s life is centered around love, family and writing.
But for now, that luxury of not being a slave to a full time job is impossible, so the inevitable busy-ness that I am plagued with cannot become an EXCUSE for not writing. It’s just like people who claim they don’t have the time to exercise. Anything worth doing, you will find the time to do it. It’s all about choices.
And I make the choice to write. Whatever it takes, whatever the sacrifices, I promise for the next 30 days, I am going to make it a goal for myself to write for 30 minutes everyday. No judgment on what type of writing. Just WRITE. Wish me luck?
Are you a writer? How do you make the time to write?