Just a few days ago I found myself sitting across from a man that helps people find suitable career paths for a living.
He asked me: “If you could do anything, what would it be?”
“I’d be a writer,” I said, without even the slightest hesitation.
Because that has ALWAYS been the goal.
When I was about ten, I began writing a, ahem, novel. It was probably a dozen pages long. But it was a start. And I promised myself – promised – that I would have my first novel published by the time I turned eighteen.
Yeah… and then, sometime in my twenties, when I still hadn’t managed to finish any of the novels I’d started, I extended that deadline to my thirtieth birthday.
Which came and went years ago.
So what the hell happened? I mean, I’ve never completely stopped writing: I wrote a ton of poems and short stories in college (NONE of which were ever accepted to any of the literary magazines to which I submitted them – yea for motivation…), but I just don’t seem to be on track with my goals. Why? What’s happened that’s gotten in my way of pursuing the one thing I believe I was put on this earth to do?
For starters, I don’t write enough.
That’s really one of the big reasons I started this blog. Sure, I love, love, love posting about recipes and crafts and kid toys (no, really, I do), but if nothing else, it forces me to sit at a keyboard and put words together.
But sometimes that’s easier said then done.
For example, coffee is very important.
If there’s not enough coffee surging through my veins, then I don’t really function. But that can also pose a problem since I get my best writing done at two in the morning.
Well, that and having to get up with my kids when the sun rises.
So, why do I bother?
Why do I keep trying?
I keep trying because I have to.
And I know I’m not alone. If the advent of internet memes has taught me nothing, it has taught me this: I am not alone in my literary torment.
The procrastination gene goes hand in hand with the writing gene.
So, at this point, I haven’t given myself a deadline for completing (or publishing) my next novel. Mostly in an effort to avoid sobbing fits of devastation.
Instead, I have promised myself to write every day.
I mean, I’m aware that some days there will be very little or no writing done because I will be too busy controlling the beautiful but consuming tornado that is my toddler and preschooler, but I still promised myself I would try.
It’s kind of like a New Year’s Resolution – but for the rest of my life.
How hard could that be…
I know I can, I know I can, I know I can.
Because I have to. I don’t have a choice.
It’s who I am.
(sources: Boromir pic; Hemingway quote)