We all love stories, and the best stories from my childhood always began with, once upon a time.
I was a little girl who never wanted the stories her parents read to her to end.
I began writing to complete the tales. Unicorns were usually my main characters. I grew up and life intervened on my dream, but how to fit writing into my busy life? I put it on my to-do list, but never got to it. But I couldn’t not write either. Creativity was missing from my life, and I felt incomplete. I needed to discover why I was not writing and to find a way to incorporate it back into my life.
There are so many reasons I didn’t write, but being busy was truly not one of them. I somehow managed to fit in my favorite television shows, Facebook, and playing Trivia Crack, so why wasn’t I writing?
I procrastinated from a fear of failure until there was no more time in the day.
I fought against perfectionist tendencies. The words on the paper never matched the vision in my head. I had to shake off the need for the page to be perfect and to allow myself to write a crappy first draft. Words on the page can be fixed.
But being unpublished I had no writing deadlines beyond the ones I made for myself. No one was checking on my progress, and it was easy to let my writing take a backseat to other more pressing concerns.
And then there are the roles I play. Child, parent. Worker. I held writing as less important than virtually everything else on my list. I had a difficult time saying no. If I was not making money at it, why was it important? I have been there, taking care of grandparents, children, parents. Sometimes life becomes chaotic, and you put off writing until things are calmer, but as more time goes by the harder it becomes to get your butt in the chair. Don’t stop writing. I want you to write during the crisis times in your life. You do not need to be working on a novel, write down what you are going through and how you feel. Your writing can be as public as a blog or as private as a journal.
We don’t need a chunk of time dedicated to writing. You can do it in minute’s every day. The writing will add up.
In a flight, we hear that we need to put on our oxygen mask first in order to take care of others, but how do we correlate this with writing? In Rachel Grate’s article, Science shows something surprising about people who love to write, she explains, “The act of writing itself leads to strong physical and mental health benefits, like long-term improvements in mood, stress levels and depressive symptoms.” As this article explains, you will be a healthier person from the act of writing, not being published, not making money, but solely from writing.
Perhaps some of you recognize yourself in my list of explanations for why I wasn’t writing, or maybe you have a completely different set of reasons, but some of us share the struggle to put pen to paper.
Do you want to write? If you don’t write is something missing from your life? Let’s push past our fears of that blank page and get writing.
Stories inspire. Stories change lives. With your writing, the first life you’ll change will be your own.