Friday, May 13, 2016

Putting off Until Tomorrow

I recently had a friend from college tell me how proud he was for me. He said how he always hears people talking about how they want to write a book, or do a painting, or create a sculpture, or make a book of poetry, but they never get it done. He said that he found it amazing that I said I was going to write, and that I actually did it, and not only that, but I continue doing it.

That got me thinking that the only real difference between a writer and someone who aspires to be a writer is that a writer doesn’t put off until tomorrow what they can do today.

The major excuse one always hears about someone wanting to write a book, is that they don’t have the time to do it. The truth is, I think, these people don’t want to make the time to do it.

Let me tell you, I am a teacher, so, I work my 40+ hours a week, but I also tutor on the side for probably another 15 – 20 hours a week. Two or three times a month, I get in the car and travel to some destination for a comic book convention where I sell my books and comics on the weekends. Oh, and to add to that, I have an insane two-year-old (for those of you who are parents, you know what I’m talking about). So, if anyone has an excuse that they do not have any time to write, it is me.

Now, I’m not saying all this to brag. I’m trying to make a point. If I can get in at least a little bit of writing every day, than anyone can. The point is, that you have to do it instead of saying, “I’ll get to it when I have the time.”

It isn’t that hard to get started. If someone wants to write a book, they must have an idea in mind. The fact is, they have to sit at that keyboard—or, like in my case, a pen and notebook—and get those ideas out of their head. (Yes, for those of you wondering, before I type my stories out on the computer, I write them in a book. That way when I copy it down onto the computer, it forces me to do my edits as I go.)

And the thing that I think many people think is that they have to get all their ideas out at once. That is definitely not the case. I set a daily goal for myself for writing. My goal is not that large—only 500 words a day. This isn’t that large a number. If you’re typing in standard font, and single spaced pages, this is only one page. So, my goal is really one page a day. That’s 3,500 words a week. Most days I exceed that goal. However, there are days where I won’t make it. But that’s okay, because I will still make my goal by the end of the week.

If writing is a passion of yours, you should make time to do it. We all have other things we are doing. But if this is something you truly want to do, it is important that you get it done. Do an inventory of your time. Maybe there is some time in the evening when you could write something while you’re sitting in front of the TV. Maybe you can do like I do and write early in the morning before work, or late at night right before bed. Maybe you can start just by writing for one hour each day on the weekends and expand from there.

The important thing is to get it done. Stop saying that you don’t have the time. Make the time. Then maybe you will have a friend tell you how proud they are of you.

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