plans & possibilities
For a while, I held the dream of being a paid, full-time writer. I would work from home, never having to worry about getting to work in inclement weather. There would be a bit more flexibility to my schedule not allowed by an office job. I would be creatively fulfilled, and yes, there would be hard work and hard days, but it would all be worth it. It would all be good. But I lacked something important. I lacked the discipline needed to work on All Things Writing within current life parameters when they were good or when they were topsy-turvy. Perhaps to put it a better way, the actual work of writing was not a priority for me. It was more a fanciful dream, less a thing I actively worked on.
It would be nice to say I purposefully assessed the situation, choosing to deliberately tuck the dream away with a plan to revisit it at a set date. But I didn’t. I more drifted away from it. There were a few drifts back, a few attempts to be Disciplined and Purposeful before I drifted away again. It seemed I generally avoided trying to pin much of anything down when life was easy-breezy. When life was less so, then I was rightfully focused on other things. But still there were the moments when I wondered what the days would be like with more words, more stories flowing through them.
But dreams and ‘what-ifs’ don’t an actual writing life make. I’ve too long been lacking in discipline, and have not genuinely made the work of writing a bona-fide priority in my day-to-day life. It was like I was waiting for something magical and mystical to happen that would in the blink of an eye make me A Writer, one who seized as many opportunities as she could to write blog posts, read and write stories, to practice and grow in her craft. Only recently have I noticed and acknowledged that was what I was doing – merely dreaming with the hope that would somehow be enough. But what things in life work that way?
The easy thing to do next would be to hold onto shame, regret, guilt, and/or disappointment over all that has been missed with this blind spot, all that has been wasted. But I’m also (finally) seeing how that, too, does precious little (if any) good. Hence why I am prayerfully working on figuring out how to start building a good writing routine as I tackle NaNoWriMo (the shorthand for National Novel Writing Month) in October* as Jeff takes on the Inktober challenge, and then build on that post-October.
There will be hard days, and hard work. But it will be worth it to see what the results of the actual, here-and-now work will be down the road.
*NaNoWriMo is typically in November, but this year I know it’s not a good time for me. I may have mentioned that here already.