Years ago, when I was first starting my writing journey but long before I’d committed to it wholeheartedly, I read a quote that was something along the lines of:
Let the houseplants die. The kids and husband make their own meals. The laundry can pile up. All you must concentrate on is your writing. Everything else is superfluous.
(Of course, I can’t remember the exact quote or who said it!)
But the message was clear:
Nothing is more important than writing.
And it always sat… poorly with me. Because, well, living is important. Meals to be made and eaten. Bills to be paid. Laundry to be washed and dried (even if folding and hanging can be optional).
Even the poor houseplants deserve a quick watering now and then.
After all, how long does all that take?
It takes longer than you really have.
Because those seemingly “must dos” will expand to fill all your time. Every day. It’s always easier to water the houseplants (or mix up some MiracleGro or re-pot them or prune or decide to put in an English tea garden) than it is to write.
It’s easier to get focused on the perfect bedroom with not a stitch of clothing that is dirty or wrinkled or unfolded than it is to write
It’s easier to plan and execute daily 5-course meals than it is to write.
But in the long run…
What really happens if the houseplants die?
(Or if you give them away to a person who is not called to write a book?)
What happens if the clothes are clean but wrinkly?
What happens if you tell your spouse or kids that they’re in charge of dinner tonight? Or all this week? Or for the foreseeable future?
What happens if you make a decision that writing is every bit as important as the English tea garden? Or the gourmet, all-organic, homecooked meals?
Magic can happen.
Words can be secured on paper.
Stories can be told.
Wisdom can be shared.
Just so we’re clear: I’m not saying that you actually need to drop all your responsibilities to do nothing but focus on your writing. I’m not telling you to quit your job, ignore your family, lose your clients, and stop showering.
Finding the time to write – every single day – is much easier than you might imagine. (I’ll give you my exact process next week.)
For now, make peace with the chore or task that you don’t have to do. The one you can ignore or delegate. And then use that time to write!
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