For most of my life, I thought that I would eventually attempt to write something “serious,” a non-fiction book, a screenplay, a novel, something. After writing my master’s thesis and giving birth to two children, though, that idea sounded less and less appealing. The master’s thesis itself, with its research and approvals and four revisions, had soured me on the writing process and convinced me that in no way would a PhD behind my name be worth the effort. Add two small boys to the mixture and writing became a Herculean task. I didn’t have the time, energy, or interest in such a crazy dream.
As time passed, though, the memory of the hellish thesis passed, the boys grew bigger and started school, and the thought of writing something just to prove I could do it crept back into my head. To that end, on May 7th I wrote a rough draft prologue for a story that I’ve had in my head for years. I finished it. I filed it. I mostly forgot about it because summer vacation started for my boys and I had no energy for creativity while wrestling monkeys. This morning, however, I did something I haven’t done in months. I actually sat down and wrote a bit of fiction. It felt good. Even though it wasn’t part of what I started in May, it felt like progress.
It’s too easy to make excuses when it comes to writing. It’s too easy to claim you’re too busy or have writer’s block. It’s too easy to work on your blog and ignore the larger, scarier, meatier item with fangs that you know is waiting in the wings for you. But, with each passing day that fanged creature just gets bigger and more intimidating. The only way to slay that ugly beast is to face it, to chop it up piece by piece, until it’s no more than a darling little kitten that inspires you to play. I tend to bite off more than I can chew and then stare at what I’ve undertaken with trepidation. I begin to doubt that I will ever be able to accomplish what I’ve set forth for myself. I make it seem insurmountable and so I procrastinate and hide.
I know I’ve got it in me. I know I do. The difference between writers who have already published and me lies in effort. They made the commitment to themselves and to their craft. They slayed excuses and conquered their dragon. It’s time for me to sharpen my sword and go into battle. That beast won’t kill itself.