WRITE FIRST! MAKE YOURSELF AND YOUR WRITING A PRIORITY
Yesterday was the first day I sat down to write and I've got to tell you, it felt good. Like, soul enriching, rainbows and unicorns, koalas with pizza kites good. **This is from a T-shirt my son bought at a con last weekend. Isn't it all kinds of fabulous?**
Somewhere in the hustle of life, I'd pushed writing to the back of my priority list. There's always something else that needs to be done ~ feed the dogs, feed the humans, check email, jump on social media, plan the next event, stress about the next event, RWA stuff, house stuff, car stuff, spider infestations in the kid's car ~ you know, stupid stuff along with the important stuff. I'm still trying to figure out if groceries and laundry count as ‘important'. Or are they negotiable?
We're pulled in too many different directions every single day, and sometimes, it's easy to get lost.
That's where I was. Lost. On an island without kittens and butterflies and unicorns and dragons. All alone with just my spinning thoughts to keep me company. Boy, was that weird and uncomfortable.
But yesterday I sat at my laptop and opened a new document. I titled it, The Ruins of Mallaqai and then I typed, Chapter One.
Just the sheer act of delving into the creative miasma that is my imagination is freeing. Suddenly, none of that other stuff mattered. Not laundry, or the spiders, or any of it. Just the characters and my words. It was bliss.
So, why don't I do this every day? I LOVE writing. Like, fucking love it to the moon and stars and infinity. And yet, I'm too willing to put other things before this thing I love. It's ridiculous and doesn't make sense at all. I guess that's what it is to be human. Sometimes, you don't make sense.
Starting today, I'm making writing a priority. In fact, it's THE priority. I WRITE FIRST. Email, groceries, life, can wait until I have my words in. I've also decided every month needs to be a NaNo month. Four thousand words a day is totally doable for me. It might not be for you, and that's totally cool, but for me, it is. And I'm going to make it a part of my schedule. I'm going to protect my writing time. The first hurdle is rearranging my brain to understand this is a priority. No more shirking my writing duty. No more excuses.
This writing gig is my career. I need to respect what that means.
I know I'll be in excellent company with my target word goals. Check out these authors and what they strive to write each day. Also, if you need further motivation to prioritize your writing, check out Chuck Wendig's post on how he writes 50K every month. I was inspired by his post, and especially this section:
20. I endeavor to write five days a week, and then don’t write on weekends. I need that break. Every day that I do write, I write regardless of how I’m feeling — I write through illness, anxiety, life trouble. This is not saying you need to do that. (What did I tell you about comparing yourself?) You have to find your pace. Maybe you write all your weekly count on Monday at 2:15. Do what’s best for you. The good news is, for the most part, routines are valuable. Establish the routine and stick to it and after a couple weeks, you’re good. The bad news is, NaNoWriMo asks that you have that routine up and running by the time the month starts.
Every day that I do write, I write regardless of how I'm feeling — I write through illness, anxiety, life trouble.
Yes, this. His words hit me in the sternum like a force from Thor. Bam!
And so, starting today, I'm going to WRITE FIRST. Before life happens. Before spiders. Before email. I'm a writer and a writer is someone who writes.
Four thousand words a day might be too much for you, but do what you can. Write every day. Respect the time you give to your writing. And always, remember how much you love to write.