I was supposed to have this book complete weeks ago. My first draft manuscript must be ready by Monday, February 20th in order to have a proof copy before I head to LA in mid March. To complete the book, I needed to knock out some words.
Amazing what we can do once we purpose to accomplish something. I thought I needed ten thousand words to finish up a small book I’m writing. I allowed the thought of the word count to keep me away from the project for three days. WHY? I wish I knew. I’ve been writing at a 3000 word per day clip lately. Three days and I would be done. But once I let the first two slip by, I decided I would sit down and kick in some serious words.
Once I rolled into the project, I found that 3000 words were all that were necessary to complete the first draft. Too often we allow the mere thought of something to dissuade us from something we truly desire to accomplish. Or, maybe I’m the only writer this happens to.
I read a great quote from a wonderful writer today. Hope Clark posted this on Facebook: “It isn’t you don’t have time. It’s that you don’t want to make time. We all share the same 24 hours, just making different choices.”
I connect with this quote. I get it. I write a lot. I write every single day. I chose to go ‘all-in’ on my writing. I chose to go for broke, damn the torpedoes and all that gibberish.
This commitment is not without its trepidation. I struggle to make ends meet, but I am doing what I love. So, to have my wicked mind trick me into dreading a project becomes absurd. Just more proof of the quirkiness of writers. We balk at the most inopportune times. We dash off and write like crazed beings at times and in places many would find non-conducive to production.
I know I’ve been hitting this “write-every-day” mantra lately, but folks, it works. Don’t delude yourself that every day will produce incredible works of art. As I’ve noted in a couple previous posts, my first thirty days or so of this commitment produced writing I wouldn’t show my dog. Yet out of those same thirty days I’ve produced some pretty decent poetry, breathed life into five of my blogs, bumped my Hub Pages articles up a few notches and now completed another book.
What it takes is established committed desire to reach your goal. I’ve heard this for a dozen years. I’ve sporadically flirted with committed desire and produced four books. Now that I am truly in the groove of commitment, I see clearly I could have been doing this all along.
I know, I know. All things come in their time. My time still took a committed desire to get there. Making that choice to go for your dreams regardless of conventional wisdom yields results. The results may not pay my bills. I may not be able to sustain myself on what I write. All true. I have noted in my life, however, that those who aspire and achieve their dreams most often have histories of bankruptcy, destitution financially, and struggle to get by day to day.
This is not for everyone. The more we fight ourselves, the less we get done. Once you give yourself over to pursuing your dream, the simplicity reveals itself. The fear that precedes this decision cripples us – tells us we will fail – whispers how foolish we’re being in our ears.
Stand up to this inner demon/voice/spoilsport. As I wrote previously, write down the words “I desire to…” and place the names of your projects in the blank. Read this out loud. Allow yourself to truly desire the accomplishment. The moment you feel that desire kick in, let nothing distract you from beginning the task. Once you’re under way, wild editors couldn’t drag you away.
Completion of a first draft manuscript feels good, whatever length – short story, poem, novella, book. Feed off that success and go for more. I tell you in all honesty, if I can do this, so can you. Like Hope Clark’s quote said, “We all share the same 24 hours, just making different choices.” Step out and make your choices stick. If you don’t make the choice to pursue your dreams, someone else will choose to fill that time with their agendas.
If you feel so inclined, please check out my other books:
Fatherhood 101: Bonding Tips for Building Loving Relationships
Loves Lost and Found