I have reasons not to blog. Or to write at all, actually. I have three kids whom I teach at home, a husband who needs me, two sisters I need to talk to regularly to feel normal, parents who love me and would like to see me once in a while, two small (disobedient) dogs, church activities, house-cleaning, tutoring at a classical co-op, women friends I can’t afford to blow off…And for a long time I felt that these were reasons enough not to write. I assumed that writing would take so much effort on my part, that grasping for the right words at the right time would produce so much sturm und drang, that I couldn’t do it “in this season.” But it was always “this season” and I was making excuses.
And then somehow, and I’m still not sure how, I signed up for NaNoWriMo online. For those who aren’t familiar with it, it stands for National Novel Writing Month. It’s a national challenge for amateur and professional writers to pound out 50,000 words in 30 days in order to create a novel. It’s an insane-but-technically-achievable goal and people from all over enter and write like mad for the month of November. If they make their 50,000-word goal at the end of the month, they have bragging rights, but also the chance to have their book printed.
Well. Like I said. Plenty of reasons not to do that craziness, but I did, am.
And the thing is, every day that I’ve written has been a revelation to me. Every day that I’ve pushed back against my inner editor, banging out words that might be stupid but will have to do for now, I’ve gotten a little bit braver. And it has convinced me that what I need is not more time, but more grit. More discipline. More bravery. I have had the time to write what I needed to write every day because I found the time. And my kids, for those who might be wondering, are not slumming in their pajamas all day as a result of my writing 1,667 words per day, eating Cheez Whiz from the can, and forgetting their math facts. We’re keeping things going.
What this has shown me is that we make time for things we think are important, things we really want to do. This goes for kids and adults. We schedule our lives (whether consciously or subconsciously) so that we fit in the things we think are A Big Deal.
Another thing I’ve discovered is, the time to do things is now. It will never be a better time for me to practice writing, which is the only way to become a better writer. I will always be in a season where it’s not convenient to hone my skills in a disciplined way. (Ok, when I had tiny, needy babies and wasn’t sleeping through the night for months at a time maybe it really wasn’t the right time to start a new project. But those days are done for me unless God has a surprise in store). For me the time is today and then again tomorrow.
So my question is: What’s something you’d like to do but feel you can’t work on right now? Is there a way to make even a little time in your life for it today?
*P.S. I won NaNo in the month of November and it felt amazing.*