Life Gets in the Way – How committed are you to your writing?

Commitment unlocks the doors of imagination, allows vision, and gives us the “right stuff” to turn our dreams into reality.” ~ James Womack


Are you committed to your writing? I saw a post recently that asked what the difference was between a writer and someone who writes. It got me thinking about my commitment to my craft and how things may have been different for me if I had not had the ability to commit to my writing. Not everyone has the luxury of retirement and grown children, but making time to write is the only way to actually become a writer. It may not get us published, but nobody said that writing was the end of the story, either. The point is, if we want to be writers, then we must write; sitting at home thinking about writing, driving the kids to school thinking about writing; wishing we were home writing instead of sweating at our child’s soccer game – none of that will  make us writers.  The only way to be a writer – is to write.

Carving out time for writing is one of the most difficult parts of being a writer. If we wait for the muse to visit us, it becomes even harder to find time to write. That brings up another point: “finding time”; if we have to find it, we never will. We need to make the time to write. I’ve blogged about this before; it’s not something that can be put off for when we find the time. We have to be committed to it and schedule it like any other appointment we have. Do we find time to go to the doctor? Yes, we do. Do we find time to go to the dentist? Yes. Our writing time needs to be placed in a position of extreme importance and there are so many of us who don’t place it there. Life gets in the way – it does; but if we are committed to our writing, once life calms down, we go back to it.

There are so many of us out there who dream of writing; who want it so badly it’s all they think about. There’s the problem right there. We dream, we think, we contemplate…we should be writing. Writers write – there’s no two ways about it. If we are dreaming…we are dreamers. If we are writing…we are writers. It’s really that simple. Take this quote from Mario Andretti:

Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal – a commitment to excellence – that will enable you to attain the success you seek.

We can WANT to write, but unless we are determined to write, committed to writing, we will not find the success we are reaching for. I had a conversation with a friend the other day about an article on a group of Harvard students who wrote down their long term goals and reread them every day vs. a group of Harvard students who just thought of their goals, but didn’t record them or revisit them. Amazingly, a vast majority of the students who reread their goal list reached their goals, while the majority of the students who didn’t revisit their list daily, were still wandering around wondering what to do with their lives. Interesting, isn’t it? Just rereading what they wanted helped them commit to the path they needed to follow in order to pursue their dreams. They were committed to their dreams; they followed the path towards their goals and they committed to that path. What does that say about commitment? If we commit to our writing, to being writers, will that make the goal more attainable? Well, I can say that if we don’t commit to it, we will most likely be wandering around years from now saying: what if? What if I had taken the time to follow my dream?  Yes, life does get in the way sometimes; it can’t be helped. But a life without reaching for our dreams is not much of a life at all – it’s an existence. Why just exist when we can reach for the stars?

How do you commit to your writing?


9 responses to “Life Gets in the Way – How committed are you to your writing?

  1. So true. I think that this is especially so for women. We tend to put ourselves , and our dreams, last. If we wish to be true to our craft, our selves and find purpose we must carve it out with unrelenting determination. The rest of the world will love us better for it, in spite of what we fear.

  2. oh! This is an interesting piece that made me rethink on a decision I am about to make,, don’t know where would it lead me but I know I must give it a try.. and the last line of the article which says “But a life without reaching for our dreams is not much of a life at all – it’s an existence. Why just exist when we can reach for the stars?” makes it clearer for me. Thank You, indeed!

  3. Yes, so true. I’ve been writing since I was 12. I hesitate to tell you how long ago that was. Except for ten years at universitiy prusuing a Bachelor’s degree, and then a veterinary degree, I wrote. Most of the pre-unicersity writing was just aimless fiction, stories to be told. After university, while i was in a busy practice. I wrote after work and early in the morning, and over they years committed about 10 fairly formless novels to paper. In the past ten years, however, I wrote with a purpose and produced six good novels. My daily writing time was about three hours, plus one full day on the weekend. The Spanish have a saying, “Poco a poco se va lejos”. Confucius said it centuries ago: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

    Just sit down and write. One hour at a time. Once a day. Every day.

  4. I had a great routine. Morning I wrote, then work, lunch, brainstorming on the yellow pad and then more writing. But then several family deaths just threw me into a fuzz that I am still trying to climb out of. I have moved my writing area to the new part of the house (we’ve expanded) and the bright walls and new surroundings seem to help. — Suz

    • I’m very sorry for your loss Suzanne. I am glad that moving to a new location in your home is bringing the spark back to your writing.

  5. Life does get in the way of writing but the chaos also makes the writing possible….thank you for the thought provoking post…..

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