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· Do You Make Time for Your Writing? ·
In an earlier blog, I asked you: “What’s Your Writing Routine?” (https://jimpotterauthor.com/writing-routine/) I talked about how I get up early and write the first thing in the morning.
I do it then because my brain is trained; it wants to get to work. Another big benefit is that by being first on my list, there aren’t distractions. I can devote my time to my writing.
If you’re having trouble getting started or getting back to your writing routine, there are tons of potential reasons.
I think it’s common to just not know where to start. If you’re puzzled, start close to home, something you know. You won’t need to take any steps before you begin. No research is necessary if you write about how you’re feeling, about why your best friend is your best friend, or why you love chocolate ice cream. You have tons of memories. Choose one.
Here are a few of my memories.
I recall how in my youth I’d spend countless hours at home caring for and observing my tropical fish. I thought I’d own a pet store some day.
I met my new best friend, Mike Pearlman, on the first day of high school when we were assigned seats in alphabetical order at Niles East. Mike was a rhythm guitar player who played in a rock and roll band that seemed to change its name every time there was a new member. I remember it mostly as “The Movin’ Violation.”
Then there was the summer day I finger painted my 1964, light green, VW Bug. My able assistant was Kevin Nelson, a young neighbor a couple of houses down on Jarvis Street in Skokie, Illinois.
One memory leads to another which is the same way stories are written. Now I remember . . .
My dad and mom helped me purchase the used VW bug prior to me starting a summer job working for the US Forest Service in Idaho. I was stationed at Red River Ranger Station, maintaining trail and fighting forest fires.
That summer it was my good fortune to meet a gal from Fenn, Idaho. Her name was Sue. Now, she’s another story.
What memory do you have that you’d like to write about? Remember, it doesn’t have to be the first page of your Great American Novel. Writing is a beginning. Just like in the world of doctors, it’s called practice.
There are so many reasons people can’t find the time to write. That would make an interesting list.
I recommend that you be careful about habitually using reasons for not writing because they can turn into excuses. If you use them all the time, then they’re habits. Bad ones.
There’s also the idea that we all have a fear of failure.
One way to guarantee that I won’t fail at something is to never attempt it. If I’m afraid people will laugh at me for trying, then it’s easier to never try.
In a previous blog/podcast, titled “A Writing Environment” (https://jimpotterauthor.com/a-writing-environment/), I talked about the importance of finding a safe place to practice your craft.
You also need supportive people. When you find someone who encourages you to follow your dreams, who doesn’t discourage you, then that’s my definition of a special person or a soul mate.
Fear of writing is like fear of other things. The ego gets involved and starts trying to protect itself. While “what if” questions can be really beneficial to creativity, those same questions can be detrimental, even crippling, to success. Be careful of the questions you ask!
If you watched the movie, Florence Foster Jenkins (2016), staring Meryl Streep, I’m sure you’ll recall how painful it was to hear her sing. Actress Streep was purposefully awful, but the real-life early 20th century heiress singer thought her voice was golden.
The movie showed Jenkins dedicating her life to the arts. However, her first public concert, held at Carnegie Hall, was her downfall when the audience thought her attempt laughable.
At the conclusion of the movie, days after a horrible newspaper review of Jenkins’ theater performance, she’s on her deathbed. Her husband, played by Hugh Grant, is at her side, listening to her last words.
She speaks her own epitaph: “People may say that I couldn’t sing; but no one can say I didn’t sing.”
What will be your epitaph?
Until next time, happy writing and reading!