I marvel at those writers who can focus their brain and activity in order to get the project done; I am not one of them. My first book took me 7 years to publish, not because of the lack of writing but revising. I HATE revising. I can create the story no problem, edit easily, and then I just stall out. As I’ve stated in a previous post, A Labor of Love, this may be due to fear more than a lack of desire. Whatever the cause, it is frustrating.
This past week I had the honor of seeing my one act play performed at my former university. It was exciting and motivating, but I also know that had I not had a professor pushing me to do my best and keep at it, the two year project would never have seen the light of day. My latest novel I’ve been revising for three years, the last 30 pages taking up months – not because they need that much work but because I only do a sentence or two here and there. Even this blog, which I desire to post to once a week seems to be receiving a bi-weekly post if that. What is wrong? Why is it so challenging? What is this roadblock that is preventing desires becoming reality?
You can find endless articles on motivation, time management, daily writing, and so on, but physically doing the deed takes something more. Is it self-discipline? Perhaps. Building the creative muscle is much like any other muscle in the body – it takes time, thought, discipline, and regular maintenance to build the strength and tone desired. In this logic, it only stands to reason that my creativity is as fluctuating and weak as my body. My excuses for not exercising mirror my lack of writing – there are distractions, demands on time, and lack of discipline. I am the type of person that likes to write and exercise when no one is around, the house is quiet, and I have enough time to fully be submersed in the activity. As a mother and very family-driven individual, the number of times I have these circumstances in place are very rare – thus no exercising and no writing is getting done.
Perhaps the solution is in making writing a part of life instead of a luxury in life, making it a habit instead of a hobby. If writing and exercise, or anything really, is truly important to us shouldn’t it go on the to do list instead of being pushed aside to a “when I can” slot? Time is like quick sand, when an opening is made, other things will simply fall into the hole. A wise man once told me that free-time is an allusion; it doesn’t exist. Indeed, when writing the article, Time is a Precious Commodity, the breakdown of how little time we have for doing spontaneous things is quite limited.
It may be painful at first, and the routine difficult to adhere to, but with forced determination, I fully believe that it can become an enjoyable habit. We just have to re-wire the brain. Perhaps that is how those other writers manage to sit down and finish their books or scripts because it takes far more than passion and an idea.
I have searched for years for the remedy to this situation and have yet to come up with a simple solution but in writing this I feel like there is something to latch onto here. That if writing is truly a part of me and important to me, than I need to make it a priority instead of a side-note in my day.
I want to know if any of you other creators out there struggle with this issue? Or am I just totally alone in my quirky inadequacies? How do you accomplish your goals? How do you push through the distractions and excuses? Do you see these issues surfacing in other areas of your life? By sharing, we can draw strength from one another as well as encouragement and motivation, so let’s share and push through together to see our goals achieved.