I often meet people who tell me that they’ve always wanted to write a book, or they’ve written one that they’ve always wanted to publish.
I used to be one of them.
I was one of the people that said “If only I had some spare time,” or “Maybe when the kids are grown,” or “If only I knew where to begin.”
I used to languish about, wishing the right time would come or something extraordinary would happen to push me along. Until one day…something did.
While lying in bed watching television with my kids, my daughter said to me, “Mommy. You should write a book about kids like us and call it The Cul de Sac Kids,” to which I replied, “People would be bored reading about spoiled kids like you. If I ever wrote a book, it would be about kids whose lives are really hard.” And that little thought stayed in my head.
Then one day, after watching re-runs of The Golden Girls and Everybody Loves Raymond for the 5,000th time, it occurred to me that I had just spent hours watching television, that I could’ve spent writing that book.
And the next day, after my fourth time scrolling through Facebook, I realized that I could’ve better spent that time researching how to write a book.
Each day that followed contained a moment when I wondered “Why did I waste my time doing that when I could’ve been writing a book?” And with no good answers, at the end of a week, I finally sat down to write. And l kept writing.
And writing was hard.
It was hard to miss out on things that everyone else was talking about.
I’ve never seen the episode of This is Us where the dad died, never watched Housewives of anywhere and I only know Cookie and Lucius from commercials. I don’t even know what game they played on Game of Thrones.
When I decided it was time to be a writer, I had to make sacrifices. And I had to sit down and be still.
I had to put down the remote and pick up the laptop, cease to procrastinate and start to create. I had stories to tell and I had to be intentional about it. And if you want to write a book, you must too.
Start weening yourself from your favorite shows and minimize your scrolling time. Recognize distractions for just what they are…things designed to keep you from reaching your goals. Be disciplined, be determined and be still.
If that sounds hard, it’s because IT IS HARD! But if I can do it, you can too.
Stop telling yourself “It was a long day. I deserve to just sit here on the couch all night.” Take time for self-care, but make those lazy days the exception and not the rule. Your book is not going to write itself.
Why spend time watching shows made from other people’s writing, when they could be watching shows made from yours?
Yes, there will be things that go undone some days…sometimes for many days in a row. But if everyone in your family is full, healthy and content, then those things can wait for a while.
Yes, life is busy for all of us. Today is February 25th. My third book, Forgiveness is Free, was released on January 30th, and I just took down my Christmas tree last weekend because the dog was beginning to think it was real, and peed on it. But my book is out!!!
You have a story to bring to life. Give birth to it. Stop streaming and start dreaming.
I can’t wait to read it!